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Southern Weekly’s China Dream Becomes Nightmare for Officials

A New Year Greeting editorial from famously outspoken Chinese paper Southern Weekly, also known as Southern Weekend, turned controversial after heavy-handed censorship from the local propaganda department. 2013-01-07 11:32 AM EST

A New Year Greeting editorial from famously outspoken Chinese paper Southern Weekly, also known as Southern Weekend, turned controversial after heavy-handed censorship from the local propaganda department. What caused the uproar? The original editorial was called “The China.html">China dream, the dream of constitutionalism” and expressed the hope that China could become a country ruled by law and the Chinese constitution. But the version that appeared in the paper, after going through censors, and apparently without the knowledge of the paper’s editors, turned into a piece called “We’re closer to our dream than ever” that instead praised the Communist Party and took out the parts about the constitution and rule of law. 


The move was heavily criticized because although propaganda officials routinely give “guidance” to Chinese media about what can and cannot be covered, it’s rare for them to go in and directly change content, without the paper’s knowledge. But what’s really different is the outraged response from journalists, and ordinary Chinese. And it’s a response that officials didn’t seem to expect.

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