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Chinese journalists back at work after censorship protest

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.

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.

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