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Photographer sacked over fake picture
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A newspaper photographer has been fired for doctoring his award-winning picture, the Website of the Shanghai-based Xinmin Evening News reported yesterday.

Zhang Liang from the Harbin Daily submitted the picture "Over 800 pigeons at a square take the bird flu vaccine" to the China International Press Photo Contest in 2005 and came away with a gold award.

Some of Zhang's peers launched an investigation, and two flying pigeons in the picture were said to have been fabricated.

The organizer of the contest announced yesterday that the picture is a fake.

Meanwhile, a Chinese newspaper has apologized to readers following the discovery that an award-winning photograph of a herd of Tibetan antelope frolicking under the Qinghai-Tibet railway as a high-speed train sped overhead is also a fake. The antelope had been digitally pasted from another photograph.

Only a week ago, the apparent fabrication of film of an endangered South China tiger in the central province of Hunan was also seriously dealt with. The cameraman was fired and lost his press card, while two officials who helped in the scam lost their posts.

Last October, villager Zhou Zhenglong from the northwestern Shaanxi Province produced 30 pictures of what he claimed was a wild South China tiger, an endangered species that hasn't been seen in the wild since the 1980s.

The Shaanxi Forestry Department eventually apologized for failing to exercise prudence in announcing the pictures to be real, but the photos' authenticity has not been officially disproved.

(Shanghai Daily April 5, 2008)

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