Social mood in China: significant protest grows

The change in leadership is leading to greater pushes for political freedom. Journalists in the southern city of Guangzhou (Canton) started protesting over the government's requirement that they run a pro-Communist Party editorial.

China media stand-off with censors escalates
The press freedom protests followed the censorship of a pro-reform editorial last week. Authorities subsequently attempted to silence the newspaper after its journalists objected. On Sunday, the paper’s official microblog carried a message saying that the text had been written by a staff member at the paper. But senior editors denounced that as a lie and said censors had forced management to take control of the microblog.

The incident marks the first case of open revolt against press censorship since January 2006, when magazine Bing Dian, or Freezing Point, was closed. “News media controls are gradually shifting from censorship after publication to prepublication censorship,” said Li Datong, the former editor of Freezing Point. “This is not an accident, it’s becoming routine, and the Southern Weekend colleagues can no longer bear it.”

Censorship Protest Gains Support in China
A number of media organizations have rallied behind journalists at Southern Weekly by posting veiled messages of support on social media and their own websites. Sina Corp.'s Tianjin news portal, for example, arranged its front page so that the first character in each headline spelled out an acrostic message: "Go Southern Weekly."

Chinese writer and race-car driver Han Han described in his popular blog Monday how Chinese writers live in constant uncertainty over what they can and can't say.

"Even if you want to talk about the regulations, they won't clearly tell you what they are, so every person more or less is in violation of the 'regulations,' " he wrote. He lamented what he described as the anonymity of an invisible Chinese censor. "He covers your mouth and tells everyone you're cheerful," the post read.
Chinese of all walks of life are posting photos supporting the newspaper. Below are just a couple of photos that have come across my Weibo feed. The message in the photos is one of support for the paper.

It appear to be a more significant protest, though as usual the Western media distorts and exaggerates. To me the big story is that ordinary Chinese are publicly joining in.

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