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Hundreds Gather to Protest Outside News Corp. Shareholders’ Meeting in L.A.

LOS ANGELES - On Friday, hundreds of people gathered on the street outside News Corp.’s annual shareholders’ meeting to protest the media giant, which has been embroiled in a scandal over allegations of widespread phone hacking, bribery and extortion.

The loose affiliation of groups that demonstrated on Friday -- including Common Cause, OccupyLA, Free Press, Media Matters for America, Avaaz.org, Change to Win, Good Jobs LA, Brave New Foundation, National Lawyers Guild and others -- demanded that News Corp. shareholders make company executives and the board accountable to U.S. law and the public interest. The groups are also asking the News Corp. board to pledge that the company will refrain from any additional political spending on the 2012 elections.

“Under Rupert Murdoch, News Corp. has accumulated toxic levels of media power,” said Timothy Karr, Free Press campaign director.  “It has leveraged this news and entertainment empire to bully regulators, undermine the public interest and pollute the democratic process in America. We demand that Congress immediately hold hearings and convene an investigation into allegations that News Corp. broke several U.S. laws.”

Bob Edgar, president of Common Cause, said, “Corporations shouldn’t be able to drown out the voices of American families by using their profits to push for regulations that make them richer, but hurt the rest of us. The corrupting influence of special interest money already impairs our government’s ability to address our nation’s most critical problems. We cannot continue down this path.”

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Free Press is a national, nonpartisan organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, and universal access to communications. Learn more at www.freepress.net

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