Nat Geo Bought By Rupert Murdoch – Science Communication in Peril?

 

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National Geographic has served as a popular geteway to nature science, exploration and discovery for many people over its 127 year old history. It’s visual imagery in its magazines has caught the eyes of curious youngsters and adults alike. For many people, National Geographic has been their source for their nature science and conservation news. Up until a couple of weeks ago that is…

Rupert Murdoch, the information mogul who owns Fox News and other information entities, has purchased The National Geographic Society changing the way many of us view the future of information at Nat Geo. Why you ask? Well, Rupert Murdoch is a self proclaimed Climate Change skeptic. Check out the video below where he describes how the world should address climate change.

The purchase of Nat Geo by Rupert Murdoch is a concern to many people for two reasons:
1) Rupert Murdoch’s information channels such as Fox News is constantly misleading the public on science based topics such as climate change. Last year, the Union of Concerned Scientists published a study arguing that 72% of their information on climate change is misleading. Now that Mr. Murdoch owns 73% of National Geographic (he previously ownd the Nat Geo network for 18 years, which is known to have a very different feel than the magazine), will he use his influence to alter the science or present misleading science to the public? This is a BIG concern with the public.; and,

2) The purchase of the society has allowed Rupert to change the business status of Nationa Geographic from a non-profit to a for-profit business. I am not too sure that this par tof the purchase is a bad thing. Nat Geo was losing money as a non-profit organization, which restricted the amount of money the organizations could pay their photographers to finance their elaborate trips to capture the beutiful images they have been providing to their readership for the past 127 years. The for-profit satus could be a good move as there are potentially more diverse revenue strings to increase the information Nat Geo can provide. However, many people see the switch from non-profit to for-profit status as a greedy move and could further jeopardize the quality of information.

Much reamins to be seen over the next few years to see whether Rupert Murdoch will allow misleading information in the magazines as he does over at Fox News. I don’t want to count the magazine out yet. We need to think about the people who work at Nat Geo and their relentless dedication to science, exploration and conservation. As Sir Richard Branson says, the company doesn’t take care of the clients. It’s the employees that take care of the clients, so the company needs to take care of the employeers. Of course, I am paraphrasing, but you get the gist of it. We will see if Century 21 Fox will take care of Nate Geo’s employees so that they can continue to provide us with truthful, un-biased science and conservation information.

Do you think Rupert will have influence over the science information at Nat Geo that will aim to mislead their readership as they do at Fox News?

Share your thoughts in the comments below!

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Join the discussion One Comment

  • robert greener says:

    There goes sound science and truth in the Rupert sewer. Heartbreaking. I cut my teeth on natgeo 75 years ago. Tears tears. Will not renew my membership of many years.

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