It's the first time China has expelled a foreign correspondent in 14 years, so whatever Al Jazeera English's Melissa Chan did to have her visa denied, it must have been pretty monumental, right? Actually, it appears Chan's being punished for a documentary on Chinese labor camps her network produced without her. At least, that's the piece of reporting that gets mentioned most frequently across the reports we read on Chan's expulsion as something known to have annoyed the Chinese government.
The New York Times' Michael Wines wrote that "among other broadcasts, officials were said by some to have been angered by an English-language documentary on Chinese re-education through labor camps that Al Jazeera produced outside China and broadcast on its network in November." At Reuters, a noticeably non-bylined story noted that officials had "expressed dissatisfaction about some of Al Jazeera's content, including a documentary produced overseas." The Washington Post's Keith Richburg wrote: "In a February 2011 report, Chan reported on what she described as China’s 'imaginary revolution,' and also investigated China’s 'black jails,' a network of secret detention centers. But she played no role in an al-Jazeera documentary about prison labor that prompted Chinese protests."