(BEIJING) — A rare, public outcry in China by journalists demanding increased press freedom has taken a turn.
Staffers at the Southern Weekly clashed with Communist Party officials after an editorial calling for reform was censored. Now, an apparent deal between the two sides might allow the journalists to go unpunished for their protest and for stopping work.
Censorship in China will not end. But the deal — and the fact that protestors were allowed to publicly criticize the government — is a small but significant shift towards reform.
The incident erupted just two months into the new leader Xi Jinping’s regime. While the government has not commented, it is widely believed that a top official — Guangdong party chief Hu Chunhua — brokered the deal, a sign that the party is taking the issue very seriously.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Paul Cruickshank and Michael Pearson, CNN