BEIJING, MAY 4 -- As student demonstrators marched toward the center of Beijing today, several hundred Chinese journalists applauded them, shouting, "We want a free press!" The students' democracy movement has brought a warm response from Chinese journalists, many of whom are frustrated at their inability to write about the student movement in the Communist Party-controlled press. Their frustration has led to a near revolt at some newspapers, where journalists have signed petitions demanding their right and proclaiming their duty to report the truth. But these petitions themselves have been subject to censorship and have not been reported in the Chinese press. Today's demonstration by several hundred journalists on Beijing's main east-west boulevard was a rare open act of defiance by Chinese newsmen. Some of the journalists carried a banner saying, "We don't want to speak lies." Today's protest by journalists was the first organized activity in support of the students by other residents of Beijing. Some Chinese have shown their support in more disorganized ways, lining roadways, shouting, clapping and donating money and food to the students. Students enthusiastically expressed appreciation for the journalists' show of solidarity. They cheered loudly as they passed by the journalists on their way to Tiananmen Square. Wang Yan, a student at Beijing Normal University, said,"It's very important to have other groups of people join us in making demands on the government." One of the student demonstrators' main demands has been for press freedom, and more specifically for full press coverage of their arguments and activities. After the main demonstration in the center of the city today, more than 5,000 demonstrators marched in the late afternoon to the New China News Agency offices to protest the way it has covered the student democracy movement. Some Chinese journalists have been arguing for a press law that would guarantee them a measure of freedom and entitle them to monitor government officials and institutions more effectively.