The Earthquake in Sichuan has shifted the focus of the world’s media away from Tibet and the Olympics. The outside world may have been misled by a false impression that the Chinese government has opened up its news media, according to the author of this article published in Taiwan News. The authorities had learnt from the past, starting in 1991 during flooding in the central part of China, that opening up the media to report in the event of a natural disaster helps to improve the official image and attract foreign donations especially from overseas Chinese. The authorities have never lost control of the media as demonstrated in the current situation where official media reports have been centered on praising the Party and government leaders.
Source, Tainwan News, 6/2/2008