Chinese media reported last month that China was considering fines for media outlets that report emergencies, such as riots, natural disasters and outbreaks of disease such as SARS or bird flu, without authorization.
China has a long history of covering up emergency incidents, and news blackout [sic] are regularly imposed by sensitive propaganda officials nervous about the effects of news reports on the image of the ruling party.
Good thing we have that whole “first amendment” thing. Sure it gets in the way some times, but that’s why we have Congress. They can pass resolutions condemning the media, without actually going the Full Beijing on us.