The Daily Mail has said that an editorial mistake saw the back-page picture on yesterday’s print edition manipulated.
The image, which was taken by Kirsty Wigglesworth and distributed to the Mail by Associated Press, shows Tottenham player Emmanuel Adebayor saluting manager Tim Sherwood during Tottenham’s 5-1 defeat of Sunderland at home.
The Mail gave the picture the headline FINAL SALUTE because Sherwood is set to lose his job.
The original version of the pic shows coach Chris Ramsay between the pair and also saluting.
The unaltered version of the photo (which was also distributed by Getty Images) was used by the Daily Mail online.
Someone in the Mail’s picture team evidently used image-altering software to drastically change the picture, changing the background and removing Ramsay altogether.
A spokesman for the Daily Mail told Press Gazette that it was not the paper's policy to manipulate news images and that this incident was a "mistake". An investigation is underway into what happened on this occasion and why the individual responsible did what they did.
Altering news images in this way is a breach of Clause 1 of the Editors’ Code of Practice which states: “The press must take care not to publish inaccurate, misleading or distorted information, including pictures.”
Associated Press also has its own strict rules over the use of photos.
In its statement on news values it says:
AP pictures must always tell the truth. We do not alter or digitally manipulate the content of a photograph in any way.
The content of a photograph must not be altered in Photoshop or by any other means. No element should be digitally added to or subtracted from any photograph. The faces or identities of individuals must not be obscured by
Photoshop or any other editing tool. Only retouching or the use of the cloning tool to eliminate dust on camera sensors and scratches on scanned negatives or scanned prints are acceptable."
In January, AP sacked freelance war photographer Narciso Contreras because he manipulated an image to remove a colleague’s video camera from the shot.