AP Bans Photog Who Doctored Syria Pic

He removed colleague's camera from shot
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 23, 2014 2:53 AM CST
AP Bans Photographer Who Doctored Syria Pic
Contreras altered the top photo by “cloning” other pieces of the background and pasting them over the camera before sending it to an AP photo desk.    (AP Photo/Narciso Contreras)

A career ruined with a few clicks: The AP has cut its ties with a Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer who doctored a photo from Syria to remove a colleague's video camera, Politico reports. Narciso Contreras "cloned" pieces of the background in the shot of a Syrian opposition fighter, violating guidelines that say AP pictures "must always tell the truth. We do not alter or digitally manipulate the content of a photograph in any way."

"AP’s reputation is paramount and we react decisively and vigorously when it is tarnished by actions in violation of our ethics code," AP's director of photography said in a statement. "Deliberately removing elements from our photographs is completely unacceptable and we have severed all relations with the freelance photographer in question. He will not work for the AP again in any capacity." Contreras, who shared last year's Pulitzer for Breaking News Photography, says it is the only photo he has ever altered, "at one very stressed moment, at one very difficult situation," but he accepts the consequences, reports Buzzfeed. (More Associated Press stories.)

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