Today in History: Fight For Freedom of Media

A petition signed by a thousand Beijing journalists was presented tothe secretariat of the All-China Journalists Association, demanding adialogue on press reform with leading officials in charge of the mediain the Party's Central Committee. The petition raised problems astopics of the dialogue: 1) the Economic Herald incident in which QinBenli was dismissed as editor-in-chief of the newspaper; 2) the newscoverage of the students' activities in the past weeks, which was farfrom enough and not objective, a failure of the news media caused bycensorship and in violation of the principle set down by the ThirteenthNational Congress of the CCP that important events should be made knownto the people; 3) State Council spokesman Yuan Mu's statement duringhis dialogue with the students in Beijing on April 29th that "newsreporting in China was based on a system of chief editors being incharge of everything in their units," which did not conform to thefacts. When the petition is handed in, some thousand students gathered outsideof the association building in support of the journalists. They chanted"The Internationale" and shout "Journalists, don't be afraid, demanddemocracy and report the facts", "Support the Economic Herald", and"Long Live Qin Benli". The students later march to Tiananmen Square andstop at the gate of People's Daily before returning to school.

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