Report: Striking Chinese journalists receive support from Beijing News

Striking journalists at a newspaper in the south of China have been shown a sign of solidarity by a Beijing newspaper.

According to the Financial Times, the Beijing News has refused to republish a propaganda article condemning the Southern Weekly newspaper, where journalists have been protesting against censors this week.

Although staff at the weekly have reportedly agreed to go back to work and publish today’s edition, public protestors remain outside the newspaper’s Guangdong offices.

The protests started after a New Year editorial calling for guaranteed constitutional rights was changed by censors to praise the country's Communist Party.

In response, 85 current and former journalists at the paper signed two open letters calling for a provincial propaganda chief to step down.

Although the newspaper's official mircoblog claimed these "online rumours" were "false", it resulted in journalists striking, a public protest and international news coverage.

Daily Telegraph's China correspondent Malcolm Moore told Press Gazette, though, that not all journalists at the title have been involved in the protest.

"It is depressing, at least to me, that so few journalists inside the Southern Weekend and indeed the Beijing News followed the courageous example of their editors," he said.

"We were told there were only around a dozen strikers, even though there are crowds of supporters downstairs and global media attention on their case."

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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