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Murdoch defends US political donations

Two $1m donations to organisations promoting the Republican Party were needed to bring a "fair amoun

Rupert Murdoch has strongly defended New Corp's two $1m donations to organisations promoting the Republican Party saying the donations were needed to bring a "fair amount of change in Washington".

Murdoch's reaction was in response to a furore from the investors protesting $2m donations over the past three months to two organisations promoting Republican candidates in November's Congressional elections.

Speaking at News Corp's annual general meeting in New York on Thursday, the media mogul agreed that the donations were "unusual" but said that the company made them because it's "in the interest of the country, the shareholders and everyone's prosperity that there be a fair amount of change in Washington."

He insisted that the donations had "nothing to do with the editorial policies" of News Corp's media properties, which include Fox News and the Wall Street Journal.

Sir Rod Eddington, chairman of the audit committee, added that News Corp would consider greater disclosure of future donations.

Murdoch also answered other questions from shareholders at the meeting, which was held at the Hudson Theatre.