• France's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Agency 'kills' unflattering photo of Hollande

Ben McPartland · 4 Sep 2013, 09:51

Published: 04 Sep 2013 09:51 GMT+02:00

France’s president is photographed hundreds of times each week, so it’s natural that one or two snaps might end up being slightly unflattering.

But this week AFP, which supplies photos to media organisations around the world, took the step of pulling an image of Hollande, that perhaps wasn’t becoming of a head of state.

During a trip to a school in Denain, northern France, to mark the new term, Hollande was snapped by the AFP photographer, bearing a huge grin on his face, with big wide open eyes (see below), as though he was pulling a funny face to make the pupils laugh.

IN PICTURES: Spanish priest has France laughing with uncanny resemblance to Hollande

The Photo was captioned: "During a visit to the school Denain Michelet, September 3, 2013, Francois Hollande smiles, chairing a panel discussion on the reform of school timetables established by the government."

AFP put the image on their website to be downloaded before later deciding to issue a “mandatory kill” notice, meaning the photo was not to be used.

SEE ALSO: VIDEO - HOLLANDE'S ENGLISH SPEECH GRABS HEADLINES

However, as is the norm these days, the photograph could not remain hidden for long and was soon being passed around on various social media sites like Twitter.

Contacted by French media site 20 Minutes, AFP insisted their decision to ‘kill’ the photo was an editorial one and that they did not come under any pressure to do so by the Elysée Palace.

Writing on AFP's blog 'Correspondent' the agency's global news director Philippe Massonet said the decision to take down the photo was "clearly an error".

"The editorial decision to retract the photo – while it seemed sound at the time – created more problems than it solved.

Story continues below…

"In trying to “kill” the photo after it had already been transmitted, we actually drew more attention to it and fueled the suspicion that AFP had bowed to political pressure, thus causing some people to call into question the

agency’s credibility.

"The order to kill the photo ironically breathed new life into this saga, and led to the image being massively shared across social networks in France, often accompanied by unkind comments about AFP."

Don't miss stories like this - join The Local France on Facebook and Twitter

Ben McPartland (ben.mcpartland@thelocal.com)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
French mayors dismiss suspended burqini ban
Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet /AFP

The row over France’s burqini ban continues with several mayors vowing to keep restrictions in place despite the country’s top court suspending the ban in the resort town of Villeneuve-Loubet.

France's top court suspends burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court has suspended a town's ban on wearing the full-body burqini swimsuit.

Milk price raised, but French farmers still unhappy
The sign on the tractor reads 'We're dying', as farmers blocked Lactalis dairy headquarters. Photo: AFP

Milk prices have been raised by France's biggest dairy group to placate farmers, but unions say their demands have not been met.

Burqini bans 'dividing France's Muslim women'
Photo: AFP

The burqini bans have divided France, but they have also left Muslim women in France in two groups, argues a professor who has spent years studying the impact of the burqa.

Pizza-delivery drones could be on their way to France
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's your pizza. Photo: AFP

No more need to deal with grumpy French waiters...

Heatwave drags on as France faces red-hot weekend
Photo: AFP

France will see searing temperatures on Friday and Saturday, as the heatwave warnings have been extended (once again).

Nice: The French capital of burqini fines
The beach in the Riviera city of Nice. Photo: Valery Hache/AFP

It's one of only two of the 30 towns with a burqini ban in place to have actually given out any fines.

How to make France's famed Île Flottante dessert
Photo: Paul Oatway

France-based food blogger Laura Tobin shares her recipe for this delicious French dessert.

France's top court set to rule on burqini ban
Photo: bellmon1/Flickr

France's highest administrative court will decide this afternoon whether to overturn the burqini ban.

Corsica bushfire leaves 500 hectares scorched
Photos: AFP

A massive fire left 500 hectares of bushland in Corsica ravaged.

Sponsored Article
Five things Americans should know about voting abroad
Education
French schools to ramp up security with 'mock attacks'
Sponsored Article
5 reasons to try dating in Paris with The Inner Circle
Features
Where to go in France to find the best ice cream
National
Majority in France against burqinis on beaches
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
How to keep cool during France's heatwave
Sponsored Article
Jordan: where history meets adventure
Society
Parisians invited to swim in the Bassin de la Villette
Society
Five tips for surviving an internship in France
Politics
Déja vu? Familiar faces in France's presidential race
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
National
Meet the man paying off burqini fines in France
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
National
Eight tips on buying wine in a French supermarket
Society
Here's how to enjoy Paris (while avoiding the heat)
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Society
Ten mistakes to avoid when dating a Frenchman
Sponsored Article
Why expats choose international health insurance
Society
Twelve 'French' things that aren't actually French at all
'World's priciest home' on sale in French Riviera for €1 billion
Sponsored Article
Jordan Pass: your ticket to the experience of a lifetime
Lifestyle
RECIPE: How to make the tastiest ratatouille
Sponsored Article
Why Jordan is the ‘Different’ East
National
Paris sees Europe's biggest plunge in 'liveability'
Sponsored Article
6 reasons expats use TransferWise to send money
National
Life on the home front in rural France's 'war on terror'
Sponsored Article
Life in Jordan: 'Undiscovered treasure'
Features
Weird facts you didn't know about the French language
Society
Paris foodie event cancelled over lack of security
How to tackle six of the trickiest French verbs
National
Summer in France - 'the ideal time to find a job'
National
'Burqini bans will only divide France more'
National
French vineyards revive horse-drawn ploughs
French mayor bans Pokemon Go app from his village
2,761
jobs available