These screenshots show that the editorial, originally available here - http://pinglun.youth.cn/zqsp/201301/t20130108_2786487.htm - has since been deleted.
It remains available, however, on several other large portal websites, including:
|Screenshot shows Sina Weibo censors searches for|
"Freedom of the Press"
Some commentators believe that there can be no middle ground, its either you or me. Some go so far as to proclaim from on high that this is a struggle for the very life of freedom of the press. But these people have it all wrong - - China has always enjoyed freedom of the press, otherwise, how could "Southern Weekend" have come into being? Where did ten New Year's Greetings that everyone has so much praise for come from? If you say that the "Southern Weekend" has done a good job, then you're saying that China has ample freedom of the press.
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Everyone knows that Southern Weekend is part of the Southern Publishing Group, and that it is a sister publication of the Southern Daily. In other words, Southern Weekend is a part of the Chinese Communist Party's Guangdong Central Committee newspaper enterprise, and is a part of the Chinese Communist Party's Guangdong Central Committee Propaganda Department. In the course of carrying out the Party's propaganda work it is perfectly normal for internal differences of opinions, even arguments, contradictions, and disputes to occur. This has absolutely nothing to do with Constitutional governance or freedom of the press.
In socialist China, newspapers are tools of Party propaganda. The Party controls the media. This is an iron-clad principle that can be self-righteously shouted from the rooftops. A newspaper's utility lies in its ability to transmit the Party's guiding principles and to unite public opinion. Beyond that it can also drive out the bad and bring in the good, and deliver information from the people to the Party. Newspapers are the ears, eyes, and mouth of the Party, and so is the Southern Weekend - always has been, always will be.
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For the last 20 years, the Southern Weekend's every news article and editorial, every New Year's Greeting that everyone recalls as inspired, each and every one was spreading the Party's propaganda, was within the Party's fundamental policy framework, was a specific expression of the Party's propaganda goals, and was furthering the progressive development of the Party's enterprise. It must be understood that the Southern Weekend and the Party's propaganda enterprise are one-and-the-same, and are not isolated from one another, much less independent of one another. This is both an expression and proof of socialist freedom of the press.
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