(BEIJING) — In Guangzhou, China, a rare public fight over press freedom continues.
Reporters and editors from the newspaper the Southern Weekly are negotiating a return to work after objecting to government censorship.
A New Year’s editorial calling for increased press freedom was so watered down by propaganda officials it eventually ran as a piece praising government policy.
Southern Weekly is known as a relatively liberal publication in a country dominated by heavily-controlled, pro-party media.
The incident is causing an online uproar in China, lighting up China’s Twitter with support from noted commentators and some of the country’s biggest celebrities.
On Monday, a State Department spokesman said the U.S. hopes the Chinese government is taking note.
Many are asking how China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, will respond. He has pledged a commitment to reform but has not yet taken significant steps outside his predecessor’s path.
An editorial in the Global Times — a party-backed paper — criticized Southern Weekly for “challenging the system.”
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN