Supporters of the newspaper gathered near its offices.
BEIJING, Jan 7 (agencies): Journalists at a major Chinese paper, Southern Weekly, have gone on strike in a rare protest against censorship.
The row was sparked last week when the paper's New Year message calling for reform was changed by propaganda officials.
Staff wrote two letters calling for the provincial propaganda chief to step down. Another row then erupted over control of the paper's microblog.
Supporters of the paper have gathered outside its office, reports say.
Some of the protesters carried banners that read: "We want press freedom, constitutionalism and democracy".
Police did not interfere with the protesters outside the paper's offices, according to reports.
"The Nanfang Media Group is relatively willing to speak the truth in China so we need to stand up for its courage and support it now," Ao Jiayang, one of the protesters, told Reuters news agency.
Protestors gathered Monday at the offices of a Chinese newspaper at the centre of a censorship row, in a rare public demonstration in support of media freedom in the country.
Hundreds of people were outside the Southern Weekly's office in Guangzhou, according to online reports, with one banner reading: "We want press freedom, constitutionalism and democracy".
The demonstration in the southern city came after censors Thursday blocked a New Year article in the popular liberal newspaper which called for the realisation of a "dream of constitutionalism in China" to protect rights.
All Chinese media organisations are subject to instructions from government propaganda departments, which often suppress news seen as "negative" by the ruling Communist Party, although some publications take a more critical stance.
On Friday a liberal Chinese journal's website was shut down after it published an appeal for leaders to guarantee constitutional rights, including freedom of speech and assembly.
The Beijing-based Annals of the Yellow Emperor, which has links with senior retired Communist officials, had argued in its article that the constitution lays out a road map for political reform.