Chinese journos believe govt’s censorship rules leave them ‘dancing in handcuffs’

Journalists from the Chinese newspaper, which recently launched a rare protest against censorship rules, has said that the government's rules and regulations imposed on the media leaves them 'dancing in handcuffs,' according to a report.

Though journalists at Southern Weekly are back to work after a deal to end the row, the paper has become a focal point for debate about Communist Party censorship.

According to sources close to the deal, staffers at the weekly, based in the southern city of Guangzhou, won a pledge that their paper will no longer be subjected to prior censorship.

Instead, the authorities will rely on reporters and editors to censor themselves, as they had traditionally done, the Christian Science Monitor reports.

The row had erupted as journalists sought the resignation of top propaganda official Tuo Zhen after a piece calling for guaranteed constitutional rights was watered down.

According to the report, in negotiations with local government authorities, Southern Weekend journalists had initially hoped for Tuo's resignation.

It became clear, however, that the government would not concede on such a visible and sensitive issue. How the censors' office will behave now remains unclear, the report said.

The report pointed out that reporters at Southern Weekend and elsewhere are reining in their expectations.

A former Southern Weekend reporter, said that it is impossible to get rid of censorship, but they hope for gradual change in the future, adding that 'for the time being they are dancing in handcuffs.'

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