Chinese Journalists Strike Against Censorship In Guandong Province

The media workers staged a walkout after the region's propaganda department demanded their passwords for Sina Weibo, China's answer to Twitter.

Workers at a newspaper in China's Guandong province have gone on strike after their New Year's Day editorial was spiked by local propaganda chiefs. The original article on the Southern Weekly, which had called for the protection of individual rights, was replaced by another praising the communist party. After editors used Chinese microblogging site Sina Weibo to deny their authorship, the Central Propaganda Department asked them to desist from posting comments about the controversy and hand over their Weibo passwords.

Over the weekend, a group of prominent academics released an open letter mourning "the loss of freedom of expression in Guangdong" and asked for the removal of local propaganda chief Tuo Zhen, himself once a prominent investigative journalist. Journalists and interns at the Southern Weekly are also calling for Tuo's head, saying that he was "dictatorial." Yao Chen, one of China's most popular actresses, posted on her Weibo account—she has 10 million followers—an Alexander Solzhenitsyn quote: "One word of truth outweighs whole world."

The news comes just days after Google removed a feature on its search engine which notifies users of banned keywords. In October 2012, the New York Times fell victim to the censor's black Sharpie, as access to its website was blocked on the Chinese mainland after it published a report detailing Wen Jiabao's family wealth. New Chinese premier Xi, who was sworn in at the Communist Party National Congress in November 2012, will be watched to see how he handles the crisis.

[Image by Twitter user meowdan]

Add New Comment

3 Comments

  • HDONUTS

    another fine example of how the Meritocracy is ruling 1.4 billion people ,
    we have propaganda bureaus for spoon feeding us news so we don't get irritated ,
    we have censorship bureaus blocking vanities from out-side world so we don't get corrupted 
    we have also have Maintain Stability bureaus persecuting us so we don't have to be bothered by the complication of fundamental rights 
    we will soon have Maintain Flourish bureaus to shove feces down our throats so we may be eventually spared from the torment of digestion .

  • Robby Daniel

    It's more old news from "Old Mother Hubbard" or the BBC as she's affectionately known at the local tampon factory, which went broke soon after she menstruated for the last time post 911 & the "War on Terror" began, which turned into the idiosyncratic crap Old Mother Hubbard now promotes as "News, Views & Topical Gas." (The BBC has a bowel condition).