By Michael Evans
Image credit: xinhuanet.com
A Zhejiang newspaper has apologized to for staging a photo showing female soldiers excitedly reading the latest news from the 18th Party Congress.
Netizens called attention to the suspicious photo earlier this month, noting that while the front pages of the different Party newspapers in the women’s hands all showed headlines related to the congress, the pages they appeared to be reading all contained different, unrelated stories.
According to the Global Times, this is the first time in the history of the PRC that a news outlet has apologized for staging a photo. But it is hardly the first time that authorities have been publically brought to task for publishing less-than-truthful photos.
Last June, officials in Sichuan’s rural Huili County were forced to admit to a poorly-doctored photo showing three county leaders awkwardly floating over a road they allegedly inspected.
In February 2008, the Xinhua News Agency publicly apologized for running a doctored photo two years earlier showing a herd of antelope running beside the newly-completed Qinghai-Tibet railway. Discovery of the faked photo, which had previously been awarded as one of the top-ten ‘most memorable news photos of the year” by CCTV in 2006, led to the resignation both of Daqing Evening News photographer Liu Weiqing and editor-in-chief Wang Zhongyi.