>> Blocked access, rehashed government, press releases and orders to stop reporting. Just some of the obstacles for news organizations trying to cover last week's massive landslide in southwest China. In the past natural disasters have been easy for journalists to freely report on but as Reuters correspondent Su Lin Wong discovered, that's no longer the case.
>> Local police were very hostile towards Reuters when we were trying to get into the site of the landslide, and they followed us both on foot and in police vans and cars. And at one point, I had about 20 local police surrounding me trying to get me to leave the site.
It was very hard to get the government to give us information about what was actually happening on the scene at the landslide site. What the government did tell us was to drive four hours back to the capital of Province to a press center they had set up in Chungbu city.
>> It's a far cry from 2013 when armed police were offering rides to journalists after an earthquake in the same part of the country. Today the vastly different vibe reflects new levels of state censorship. Part of a widespread crackdown under President Xi Jinping, making it increasingly difficult to report the facts.
>> So unfortunately, what we saw in the landslide coverage this week in Chinese media was a lot of coverage focused on not particularly newsworthy things. For example, the heroic efforts of the rescue dogs on site, or the types of meals that were being served to the rescue workers.
And that came at the expense of more important and more newsworthy stories. For example, what was actually the cause of the landslide? How were the authorities dealing with the aftermath? And how were the victims, families being treated?>> One possible reason for Beijing wanting to cut off coverage of the landslide, accountability.
The official line is that it was an unavoidable disaster but villagers quoted in a now deleted article blamed the government which they say did nothing even after locals flagged concerns of a large crack in the mountainside, nearly a decade ago.