For China Media Project, journalist Qian Gang writes about the initial reporting on the Sichuan earthquake and the subsequent crackdown on coverage:
In the “great earthquake” of May 12, just one year ago, we saw the combined devastation of a natural disaster and social tensions in a way that was unprecedented. Chinese news reports on this major story unfolded in a complicated environment, and it is impossible to render a simple verdict about media coverage. As rescue and relief efforts began, the release of information prompted the international news media to note a “rare openness” in news coverage within China. Subsequent restrictions on reporting of shoddy school construction told a very different story.
See also “Sichuan Quake Zone Reporters Assaulted” from CDT.