Chinese editor resigns over fake Tibet photos

BEIJING Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:01am IST

Related Topics

BEIJING (Reuters) - The chief editor of a Chinese newspaper resigned after it came to light that one of its photographers had faked a prize-winning photograph of endangered Tibetan antelopes appearing undaunted by a controversial railway.

The photograph by Liu Weiqiang, 41, showed more than 20 of the endangered creatures wandering beneath an overpass of the Qinghai-Tibet Railway, a controversial project that opened in July 2006, the official Xinhua news agency said on Monday.

The train to Tibet drew international criticism for penetrating environmentally sensitive areas and for further opening up culturally distinct Tibet to increased migration by Han Chinese.

The photo, purportedly shot a week before the railway's official opening, had been named one of the "10 most impressive news photos of 2006" by state broadcaster China Central Television, Xinhua said.

It was published by numerous Chinese media outlets and distributed widely on the Internet, the news agency said.

Liu admitted to having spliced two shots together to create the image after a posting on photography Web site xitek.com late last week noted a fault line in the photo -- and that the shy antelopes were awfully calm for having a train rush overhead.

He resigned from the Daqing Evening News in northeastern Heilongjiang province, Xinhua said, adding that on Sunday, the paper issued an apology for failing to supervise Liu properly and editor Wang Zhongyi resigned.

"I have no reason to continue my sacred career as a newsman. I am not qualified for the job," Xinhua quoted Liu, the photographer, as saying in a statement.

It is the second case involving fake, or suspected fake, photographs of endangered species to roil China in the past few months.

In October, Zhou Zhenglong, a farmer from northern Shaanxi province, produced photographs of a tiger he said were taken in the forest near his village.

A local forestry authority said the photographs were proof that the South China tiger, belonging to a sub-species long feared extinct, still existed in the wild.

Internet users cried foul, accusing Zhou of making the tiger images with digital software, and local authorities of approving the photographs to bolster tourism.

The department later apologized for publishing the photos without going through the proper procedures. It has said nothing about their authenticity.

(Reporting by Jason Subler)

FILED UNDER:

ENTERTAINMENT

Reuters Showcase

Photo

Vodafone Tax Case

India's Vodafone decision eases tax worries for Shell, others  Full Article 

Facebook Earnings

Facebook Earnings

Facebook tops Wall Street revenue target in 4th quarter.  Full Article 

Japanese Hostage

Japanese Hostage

Islamic State said to set new deadline for hostage swap  Full Article 

Cricket World Cup

Cricket World Cup

Batting holds key for team India in World Cup  Full Article 

Photo

Australian Open

Serena fends off Keys to book blockbuster Sharapova final   Full Article | Related Story 

Road To Development

Road To Development

Build better roads in developing world to bolster food supplies - study  Full Article 

Photo

Laser Pioneer Dies

Laser's co-inventor, Nobel laureate Charles Townes, dead at 99  Full Article 

New ODI Record

New ODI Record

Sri Lanka's Sangakkara breaks ODI record for dismissals  Full Article 

Rohingya Muslims

Rohingya Muslims

Rohingya refugees say traffickers in Malaysia abuse and kill.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device  Full Coverage