Walter Isaacson’s biography of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs was released this week and details are emerging about what Jobs thought about his industry and others. The media was a particular area of interest for Jobs, but not always in a good way.
While Jobs is famous for revolutionizing several industries, from music, to computers to phones and tablets, another deep passion of his was media.
“I would love to help quality journalism,” Jobs told Isaacson in one of dozens of interviews he did for his biography before passing away. “We can’t depend on bloggers for our news. We need real reporting and editorial oversight more than ever. So I’d love to find a way to help people create digital products where they actually can make money.”
Jobs wanted to play a role in how news organizations brought their content to digital platforms, and the iPad was the solution.
According to Poynter, Jobs made friends with News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch when the two organizations started working on the iPad-only publication, The Daily, and Jobs played an active role in helping News Corp. develop the first digital-only publication for the popular tablet.
While Jobs and Murdoch hit it off with that publication, Jobs had harsh words for another News Corp. media property — Fox News. As Jobs and Murdoch got closer, Jobs did not mince words about Fox:
“You’re blowing it with Fox News,” Jobs told Murdoch. “The axis today is not liberal and conservative, the axis is constructive-destructive, and you’ve cast your lot with the destructive people. Fox has become an incredibly destructive force in our society.”
“You can be better, and this is going to be your legacy if you’re not careful.” Jobs said.
According to Isaacson’s biography, Jobs also believed Murdoch was not really happy with Fox.
“Rupert’s a builder, not a tearer-downer,” Jobs said. “I’ve had some meetings with James, and I think he agrees with me. I can just tell.”
According to Poynter, Murdoch responded to Jobs’ complaints about Fox News by saying, “He’s got sort of a left-wing view on this.”