• France's news in English
 

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.

"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 reporters 'blackmail king'
King Mohammed VI of Morocco. Photo: Fadel Senna / AFP

French reporters 'blackmail king'

4 hours ago

Two French investigative journalists have been charged in Paris with trying to blackmail the king of Morocco, legal sources said Saturday.

French meal-sharing websites under fire
Photo: Nicolas Tucat/AFP

French meal-sharing websites under fire

6 hours ago

First taxis rose up against Uber, then hotels challenged Airbnb and now, restaurants in France are taking on meal-sharing sites they believe create unfair competition and could sap jobs.

French drug dealer held for giving free samples
On the handwritten leaflet the dealer added a taped half gram of cannabis resin. Photo: Police Nationale

French drug dealer held for giving free samples

1 day ago

A man in central France has been hauled in by the police after he reportedly gave out flyers advertising his product - together with a free sample of cannabis resin.

Top French MP quits 'leftist' Green party
French MP and former member of Ecological-Green Party (EELV) Francois de Rugy gives a press conference. Photo: Kenzo Tribouillard/AFP

Top French MP quits 'leftist' Green party

1 day ago

One of the leaders of the ecologist parliamentary group, François de Rugy, has resigned from France’s Green Party, claiming that the party has moved too far to the left.

Minister: 35-hour week not working in France
French Economy Minister Emmanual Macron. Photo: AFP

Minister: 35-hour week not working in France

1 day ago

France's Economy Minister Emmanuel Macron took aim at France's 35-hour working week on Thursday, saying the Socialists were wrong to think life would improve if people worked fewer hours.

French traffic headaches forecast as holidays end
Being stuck in a car or a train will not be pleasant this weekend. Photo: AFP

French traffic headaches forecast as holidays end

1 day ago

School's back next week - and the weekend traffic is forecast to be a nightmare as everyone returns home from their holidays. Here's what you need to know.

Ligue 1
Kurzawa out of clash with former club Monaco
Paris Saint-Germain newly recruited defender Layvin Kurzawa. Photo: Miguel Medina/AFP

Kurzawa out of clash with former club Monaco

1 day ago

New Paris Saint-Germain signing Layvin Kurzawa will miss an immediate return to former employers Monaco on Sunday due to an ankle injury.

French fraudster targets women called Josette
Several Josettes in France have been targeted by the fraudster. Photo: Duru/Flickr

French fraudster targets women called Josette

1 day ago

French women named Josette are advised to be on their guard after three women with that name were targeted by a fraudster in the northern city of Rouen. Several other Josettes are also thought to have been targeted.

Scarlett Johansson loses war on French book
The decision to republish comes one year after Delacourt was ordered to pay the star €2,500 ($3400) for his depiction of her in the novel. Photo: AFP

Scarlett Johansson loses war on French book

1 day ago

A French novel based on American actress Scarlett Johansson which the star sought to ban has now been translated into English and will be published in the UK within weeks, British media has reported.

UN to meet in Paris over minorities hit by Isis

UN to meet in Paris over minorities hit by Isis

1 day ago

A UN conference on minorities persecuted by the Islamic State group will be held on September 8th in Paris, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius said on Thursday.

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS

IN PICS: Police evict 300 people from France's oldest shanty town
11-year-old boy miraculously survives six-storey fall in Paris
Features
Take a look at some of the wackiest bars you can find in Paris
National
Feminist stunt sees French road signs changed for the day
National
Two men jailed after 'Charlie Hebdo 2' scare
National
French minister calls for tougher train security after foiled attack
National
President Hollande condemns arson attack on mosque
TIMELINE: What exactly happened on the Paris-bound "terror train"?
Travel
Could coaches overtake trains when it comes to travelling in France?
Train gunman: Islamic extremist or homeless misfit?
Meet the five heroes who foiled the French train attack
National
France set for 'tourism record' of 85 million visitors in 2015
National
Paris students are helping police to warn Asian visitors about crime
Naked couple found dead beside French fortress
Europe's biggest science museum burns in Paris
Robber found half-naked and asleep in French beauty salon
National
Here are eight tips for blending in with the French while at the beach
Humans of Paris: We meet the man changing our perception of Parisians
National
France reveals new plans for Sunday and late-night shopping
Read about this revolutionary kidney op in a Toulouse hospital
National
Panic after four dogs 'poisoned' after walks in Paris park
France hit by huge summer spike in abandoned pets
National
France boils in second hottest summer ever
Technology
Meet Max - the first person in France to receive a 3D-printed hand
Politics
French minister admits to 'Obama engagement' tweeting mishap
Features
From giant bubbles to treehouses - here are the craziest hotels in France
National
How would you like to spend a night in the Palace of Versailles?
French manager paid to do nothing for 12 years
Features
We talk to Calais residents about their migrant crisis
National
Cow spared after fleeing from abattoir in France
FIVE reasons why everyone should visit Calais... yes Calais
Travel
France for adrenaline junkies: Ten crazy things to do
VIDEO: Slingshot elastic breaks on ride at French theme park
This plant might spell the end of the Asian hornet invasion
Who says the French don't like speaking English
National
It may be trickier to find a baguette in Paris this August
Killers of French student were 'inspired by Breaking Bad'
Ten must-see French gems you probably never thought of visiting
Is it time for France to force Britain to move border back across Channel?
Is romance in France just a "heterosexual concept"?
Can YOU pronounce these ten French town names?
Dog buried alive sparks French social media fury
New plan to get shy French chatting on trains
Latest news from The Local in Austria

More news from Austria at thelocal.at

Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Germany

More news from Germany at thelocal.de

Latest news from The Local in Denmark

More news from Denmark at thelocal.dk

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se