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Robert Thomson has been a journalist since 1979, when he joined The Herald in Melbourne. In 1983, he was signed on to The Sydney Morning Herald as senior feature writer. Two years later he was appointed to a Beijing bureau shared by the Sydney Paper and the Financial Times. There he reported on the country’s economic and social reforms and the crushing of the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square. In 1989, he moved on to Tokyo, where he witnessed the rise and fall of the “bubble economy.”

In 1994, Mr. Thomson became the foreign news editor for the Financial Times in London, and in 1996 he became editor of the Weekend FT, of which he orchestrated a successful redesign. As editor of the U.S. edition of the Financial Times, Mr. Thomson was instrumental in tripling sales to almost 150,000 in the growing U.S. market. Due to this accomplishment, he was named U.S. Business Journalist of the Year in 2001 by TJFR.

As editor of The Times of London, Mr. Thomson presided over a significant expansion of readership in which the online audience grew from less than 1 million to almost 13 million. He then served as the senior news executive at Dow Jones, directing the global news operations of The Wall Street Journal and Dow Jones Newswires. In May, 2008, he became editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal. Under his leadership, The Wall Street Journal became the largest circulation newspaper in the U.S., expanding its content to complement its unrivalled business and financial coverage.

Since January 2013, Mr. Thomson has served as Chief Executive of News Corp, a global network of the leading companies in diversified media, news, education and information services. He wrote The Judges: A Portrait of the Australian Judiciary and the co-wrote The Chinese Army. He has also edited a collection of satirical writing entitled True Fiction.

Full Profile

Robert Thomson is Chief Executive of News Corp, a global network of the leading companies in the worlds of diversified media, news, education and information services. Mr. Thomson assumed his current role in January 2013.

Mr. Thomson most recently served as editor-in-chief of Dow Jones & Company and managing editor of The Wall Street Journal since May 2008. As the senior news executive at Dow Jones, he directed the global news operations of the Journal and Dow Jones Newswires, with an international news staff of over 2,000 journalists in more than 80 bureaus worldwide.

Mr. Thomson’s editorial leadership and Dow Jones’ commitment to quality journalism fueled growth and innovation, with The Wall Street Journal becoming the largest circulation newspaper in the U.S. The Journal expanded its content and added a host of sections to complement its core of unrivalled business and finance coverage. The company’s expansion across content was complemented by a growth across geographies and devices, with numerous digital content and video offerings and local-language Web sites in Europe and Asia, reaching tens of millions of users worldwide.

Before joining Dow Jones in December 2007, Mr. Thomson was editor of The Times of London where he presided over a significant expansion of its readership in print and on the Web – the audience of the Times Online grew from less than 1 million monthly to almost 13 million during his editorship. Prior to that, he was editor of the U.S. edition of the Financial Times taking prime editorial responsibility for the FT Group’s ambitious drive into the U.S. market, where the newspaper trebled its sales to almost 150,000. For his work in building the FT’s operations, in print and online, he was named as U.S. Business Journalist of the Year in 2001 by the influential trade journal TJFR.

Mr. Thomson had been editor of the Weekend FT and assistant editor of the Financial Times, orchestrating a successful redesign of the Weekend FT in late 1996 – that edition became the fastest-growing newspaper in the U.K. market during 1997. He also oversaw the evolution of the occasional “How to Spend It” magazine into an award-winning monthly. From 1994 to 1996, he was the FT’s foreign news editor in London, overseeing the paper’s extensive network of correspondents. Mr. Thomson had been a correspondent himself in Tokyo (1989-1994), where he witnessed the rise and fall of the “bubble economy,” and in Beijing (1985-1989), where he reported on the country’s economic and social reforms, and the crushing of the democracy movement in Tiananmen Square.

Mr. Thomson has been a journalist since early 1979, when he joined The Herald in Melbourne, working as a copyboy and a finance and general affairs reporter before becoming the paper’s Sydney correspondent. In 1983, he was hired by The Sydney Morning Herald as a senior feature writer and, two years later, was appointed to a Beijing bureau then shared by the Sydney paper and the Financial Times.

He is the author of The Judges: A Portrait of the Australian Judiciary (Allen & Unwin) and co-author of The Chinese Army (Weldon Owen). He edited a collection of satirical writing titled True Fiction (Penguin Books).

Mr. Thomson was born in Torrumbarry, near Echuca, in southern Australia, and is married with two sons.


Robert Thomson Speaker Videos Back to top

Robert Thomson of WSJ on the Contemporary Content Conundrum


In this presentation at the Seoul Digital Forum, Mr. Thomson speaks on the “Contemporary Content Conundrum.” He tells a story of “the rather pompous passenger,” who “fought his way rather rudely to the checking counter at La Guardia Airport in New York to complain loudly and vigorously” about flight delays and the slow-moving line. The passenger “demanded immediate service” and angrily shouted, “Do you know who I am?” The assistant then announced over the microphone, “Attention. Attention. We have a passenger at the counter who doesn’t know who he is.”

Mr. Thomson compares this angry passenger to “the state of traditional media in the contemporary content environment, too often burdened by an overwhelming sense of entitlement.” He goes on to discuss how the “value of content” has changed in recent years, and how these changes have affected traditional media.

Keynote Speech



Speeches / Speaking Engagements Back to top


In his presentations, Mr. Thomson draws on his over 30 years of experience as an international journalist and editor to educate audiences about the future of global media, economics and business journalism.

    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • The Future of Media
    • Business Journalism
    • Economics Future




* Please note that while this speaker’s specific speaking fee falls within the range posted above (for Continental U.S. based events), fees are subject to change. For current fee information or international event fees (which are generally 50-75% more than U.S based event fees), please contact us.

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    Suggested Speaking Topics:

    • The Future of Media
    • Business Journalism
    • Economics Future


Robert Thomson of WSJ on the Contemporary Content Conundrum


In this presentation at the Seoul Digital Forum, Mr. Thomson speaks on the “Contemporary Content Conundrum.” He tells a story of “the rather pompous passenger,” who “fought his way rather rudely to the checking counter at La Guardia Airport in New York to complain loudly and vigorously” about flight delays and the slow-moving line. The passenger “demanded immediate service” and angrily shouted, “Do you know who I am?” The assistant then announced over the microphone, “Attention. Attention. We have a passenger at the counter who doesn’t know who he is.”

Mr. Thomson compares this angry passenger to “the state of traditional media in the contemporary content environment, too often burdened by an overwhelming sense of entitlement.” He goes on to discuss how the “value of content” has changed in recent years, and how these changes have affected traditional media.

Keynote Speech