The Straits Times
Published on Jan 08, 2013

Protesters gather at China newspaper in censorship row


BEIJING (AFP) - Hundreds of people demonstrated in support of media freedom in China on Monday outside the offices of a newspaper at the centre of a censorship row, in a rare public display of anger on the issue.

The protesters were outside the Southern Weekly's office in Guangzhou, with one banner reading: "We want press freedom, constitutionalism and democracy".

The demonstration in the southern city came after censors on Thursday blocked a New Year article in the popular liberal newspaper which called for the realisation of a "dream of constitutionalism in China" to protect rights.

Some of the journalists working at the newspaper said they intended to strike over the row in Internet postings on Sunday evening. All Chinese media organisations are subject to instructions from government propaganda departments, which often suppress news seen as "negative" by the ruling Communist Party, although some publications take a more critical stance.