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Chinese Newspaper Fights for Press Freedom

George Doyle/Thinkstock(BEIJING) -- In Guangzhou, China, a rare public fight over press freedom continues.

Reporters and editors from the newspaper the Southern Weekly are negotiating a return to work after objecting to government censorship.

A New Year’s editorial calling for increased press freedom was so watered down by propaganda officials it eventually ran as a piece praising government policy.

Southern Weekly is known as a relatively liberal publication in a country dominated by heavily-controlled, pro-party media.

The incident is causing an online uproar in China, lighting up China’s Twitter with support from noted commentators and some of the country’s biggest celebrities.

On Monday, a State Department spokesman said the U.S. hopes the Chinese government is taking note.  
Many are asking how China’s new leader, Xi Jinping, will respond.  He has pledged a commitment to reform but has not yet taken significant steps outside his predecessor’s path.

An editorial in the Global Times -- a party-backed paper -- criticized Southern Weekly for "challenging the system."

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