Since its inception in 1888 The National Geographic magazine has been a nonprofit publication, but Rupert Murdoch may end such altruism.
The publication will likely be for-profit under a $725 million dollar deal announced today with 21st Century Fox, the entertainment company ran by Rupert Murdoch and his family.
What’s fascinating to me about this deal is that the Fox media empire is one of the world’s primary sources of global warming misinformation. On the flip-side, the National Geographic Society appears to hold polar opposite views. One of their main missions is to give grants to scientists studying climate change.
Gary Knell, president-CEO of the Society, has stated that the “attractive revenue stream” from Fox will provide them with greater resources for grants, but in a deal where Fox now owns 73% it will be interesting to see if grants are considered important anymore. We’ll see.
Another aspect that worries me is what will happen to their magazine covers!? They’ve always been really nice…
— National Geographic (@NatGeo) December 9, 2014
Will their brand now dabble in sensationalism? Will their magazine covers be under Press Council investigation like this one:
Hope not. Unless it’s in the form of a Photoshop Battle. Now that I’m keen to see.
James Murdoch, Rupert’s youngest son, has said that he is personally committed to continuing the culture and the mission of National Geographic as it has existed. “It is a creative business we’re in, and we are in creative alignment,” he said.
We’ll see. Their primary interest is going to be in building the National Geographic brand across new platforms and competitive digital environments.
Only weeks ago Rupert Murdoch tweeted about his climate change views, stating he’s a skeptic and not a denier.
A climate change skeptic not a denier. Sept UN meets in NY with endless alarmist nonsense from u know whom! Pessimists always seen as sages
— Rupert Murdoch (@rupertmurdoch) August 27, 2015
He has previously discussed his views and made climate change guesstimates before:
Overall, despite what is being said upfront by all of those involved in the deal the Murdoch family will now have a huge influence on one of the greatest environmental publications ever. Through the National Geographic Society side of things they have also acquired power over science grants.
Personally, I’m a bit fucken worried about all of this. We’ll see.