Striking journalists at a Chinese newspaper are returning to work following a censorship protest, with "most" going unpunished, according to local reports.
Southern Weekly staff went on strike earlier this week after a New Year editorial calling for guaranteed constitutional rights was changed by censors to praise the country’s Communist Party.
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This was the first time in more than 20 years that an open strike had been staged by editorial staff at a “major” newspaper, according to the South China Morning Post.
Two open letters, signed by 85 current and former members of staff, called for a provincial propaganda chief to step down after the action.
It also led to a public protest, broadcast internationally, being held outside the newspaper’s offices in Guangdong.
Meanwhile, an article was posted on the newspaper’s official microblog claiming that “online rumours” suggesting the front-page editorial was changed were “false”.
But reports in China have now emerged suggesting a resolution was agreed on yesterday evening.
According to Reuters, the region’s Communist Party leader Hu Chunhua stepped in to strike a deal – the result being that the newspaper will print as usual on Thursday and “most” staff will not be punished.