China Media Project provides a fine dissection of the latest development in the battle between Chinese journalists and local officials:
Cross-regional reporting, which involves media from one province or city carrying out investigative reporting in another region or area, has typically afforded media more opportunities to tackle tougher stories. As such stories — about corruption, for example — do not implicate officials in their corner of China’s vast bureaucracy, media have generally been able to pursue them without the immediate fear that they will be censored or otherwise punished.
…In recent years, Chinese journalists have reported a number of tactics used by provincial and local officials to curb cross-regional reporting, including you-scratch-my-back-I-scratch-yours pacts in which local party leaders agree to discourage investigative reporting by media under their immediate control. [Full Text]