Anti-censorship protests in China are being described by many in the western media as an early test of new Communist Party leader Xi Jinping. But if the test is whether or not he will follow through on promises of reform by allowing greater freedom of expression then he may have already passed that test. After all, its not surprising that Chinese people would want to protest about their news being censored and stories being replaced by government propaganda pieces - the surprising thing is that the police allowed the protests to go ahead. A year or two ago I think they would have just arrested everyone within hours and the story that there had been a protest would never have been allowed to get out.
Of course that doesn't mean that the communist party will allow the protesters to win - and there are already signs that authorities are cracking down on anti-censorship protests. But it does seem to me like the Chinese government are at least taking a step forward by letting a public conversation on this topic begin, allowing journalists to strike, and allowing online newspapers to put a disclaimer on their propaganda.
There is certainly increasing pressure on China to liberalise their media laws, and Xi Jinping has presented himself as a reformist. Perhaps this is the first small step in a long, slow journey towards press freedom.