AP Deletes 7 Photos from Cuba, Fidel Castro's Hearing Aid Photoshopped out

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The AP comparison of the original photo with the Photoshopped version (Credit: AP screenshot)

The Associated Press discovered that some photos of Fidel Castro had been Photoshopped and is now reviewing “all Cuban handout pictures of Castro” according to an AP news story.

The photos were taken by Castro’s son, Alex Castro, and were doctored to remove a hearing aid from Castro’s ear.

According to the AP, the wire service discovered the alteration when its editors “noted an anomaly in” one of the pictures, which showed Castro with Rafael Correa Jan. 29.

The AP quoted its Director of Photography, Santiago Lyon, as explaining the photo doctoring doesn’t meet its standards. “Removing elements from a photograph is entirely unacceptable and is in clear violation of AP’s standards,” he said.

“The images in question were released through the government-run Estudios Revolucion, an entity that distributes photos of Cuba’s top leadership, during a recent Latin America and Caribbean summit in Havana,” the AP news story said.  The AP explained that it doesn’t use handout photos unless “there is no other option.”

After comparing the photo with “the original, high-resolution files,” which the photographer gave the AP, the wire service confirmed the Photoshop. “The original clearly showed a thin wire snaking into Fidel Castro’s ear that was missing from the altered photo released through Estudios Revolucion,” the AP explained.

The photographer, Alex Castro, “told the AP he was unaware they had been manipulated prior to their distribution.”

Because of the discovery, the AP killed “seven Cuban government handout photos of Fidel Castro” from its archive.

It also is reviewing all handout photos from Cuba for Photoshop.

While the AP didn’t distribute the photo that prompted the investigation, it said it did previously distribute another photo that did contain Photoshop. That picture showed “Castro meeting with Argentine President Cristina Fernandez.”

The Daily Mail published photos recently of Castro with Fernandez. iMediaEthics has asked the AP if any of these photos were included in the seven photos that are removed from the AP’s archive.  We’ve also asked for more information concerning its review of all Cuban handout photos. We’ll update with any response.

Just a few weeks ago, the AP discovered Photoshop in a photo from one of its freelancers. The AP fired the photographer, Narciso Contreras.

Hat Tip: Poynter

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AP Deletes 7 Photos from Cuba, Fidel Castro’s Hearing Aid Photoshopped out

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