China newspaper journos stage rare protest against censorship

London, Jan 8 (ANI): Journalists at a major Chinese media firm have staged a rare protest against censorship rules in the country.

The row was sparked last week when Chinese paper, Southern Weekly's New Year message calling for reform was changed by propaganda officials.

Staff wrote two letters calling for the provincial propaganda chief to step down.

Another row then erupted over control of the paper's microblog.

According to the BBC, hundreds of supporters of the paper gathered outside its office on Monday.

Some carried banners reading 'we want press freedom, constitutionalism and democracy'.

According to the report, it is thought that this is the first time that there has been a direct showdown between newspaper staff and party officials.

The row erupted after a New Year message which had called for guaranteed constitutional rights was changed by censors into a piece that praised the Communist Party.

On Sunday, a message on the newspaper's official microblog denied the editorial was changed because of censorship, saying the 'online rumours were false'. (ANI)

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