An agreement between Communist Party officials and journalists at Southern Weekly could end a weeklong row over censorship at the Guangzhou-based paper, one of China’s most respected, Financial Times reported. Officials will drop approval procedures for reporting topics and stop examining copy during the production process, according to internal chat group messages. In return, journalists have agreed to go back to work. Writers and editors at the paper reportedly left their desks after a Guangdong province propaganda official rewrote the paper’s New Year’s message last week. The move was widely criticized on Sina Weibo, China’s version of Twitter, and protestors early this week gathered outside the Southern Weekly’s headquarters. The agreement, reached Tuesday, demonstrated the Communist Party’s eagerness to quickly end the dispute and the bad publicity it has attracted.
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