Rupert Murdoch has warned of the dangers of censorship as he accepted a lifetime achievement award from The Australia Day Foundation.
The 89-year-old media mogul whose business empire includes The Sun and Times and Sunday Times newspapers in the UK said that an ‘awful woke orthodoxy’ was stifling dissent and hampering societies’ ability to reach their true potential.
Mr Murdoch said that accepting the awards from the British not for profit organisation was not a signal his career was over.
He noted that a “lifetime achievement award does have an air of finality, almost of closure.” But he added, his career, which “began in a smoke-filled Adelaide newsroom, is still in motion.
“I can assure you that there are many goals still to come, and challenges to overcome. I’m far from done,” he said in a pre-recorded address from his UK home, where he is sheltering during the Covid-19 crisis, it was reported.
Mr Murdoch added that one of the greatest challenges currently facing media organisations was “a wave of censorship”.
“For those of us in media there’s a real challenge to confront: a wave of censorship that seeks to silence conversation, to stifle debate, to ultimately stop individuals and societies from realising their potential,” he said.
“This rigidly enforced conformity, aided and abetted by so-called social media, is a straitjacket on sensibility.
“Too many people have fought too hard in too many places for freedom of speech to be suppressed by this awful woke orthodoxy.”
Recently, in the Dumbarton constituency of the Scottish Parliament, there have disputes within the SNP over what people can and cannot say and prospective candidates have been dropped for their woke-related views.
The Dumbarton Democrat has been banned and boycotted by West Dunbartonshire Council and denied the right to ask questions of officials or elected members of the SNP administration.