The strategy seems clear: Give China's professional journalists a longer leash to cover breaking news even if it's not positive -- since the news will come out anyway and unlike bloggers, the journalists are still on a leash. At the same time, clamp down on blogs, chat rooms and video-sharing sites that might allow too much unfettered discussion of the news. A similar thing happened in July after large riots took place in Weng'an, a town in Guizhou province, after a young girl died under suspicious circumstances. Many large Chinese Web portals deleted or prevented publication of any blog and chat room posts mentioning Weng'an. Instead the Web portals ran extensive coverage of events in Weng'an reported by China's professional media.
Read the rest of Rebecca MacKinnon's Wall Street Journal article.