Huanqiu (Global Times) published an editorial trying to “clarify” and put an end to the Southern Weekend incident, which started when Guangdong Propaganda Department Chief Tuo Zhen re-wrote Southern Weekend’s New Year’s editorial.
Huanqiu’s article quoted Southern Weekend’s newly posted weibo (the Chinese equivalent of twitter) denying that Tuo Zhen changed the content of the New Year’s editorial and declaring that the rumors spread on the Internet were untrue.
The article said, “In today’s socio-political reality in China, it is not possible to have the kind of "free media" those people demand. Development of all the media in China can only correspond to China’s reality; media reform must be part of China’s overall reform; the media will never become a ‘politically-exempt zone.’”
The article warned, “Some outsiders try to push individual Chinese media to engage in confrontation (with the government). They are ruining these media.”
The article concluded, “News media need to reform continually, but one thing will not change. In the grand scale, China’s news media and China’s politics must be coordinated and interactive. … China’s news media will never advance independently to a point that China’s politics cannot allow.”
Source: Huanqiu, January 7, 2013