JacquesBalthazar: The element that was cloned out was an important piece of information. It was telling the viewer that there were more than one reporter at that precise location. That brings insight and questions about the "PR" logistics around the photographed incident : how did the reporters get there? Who brought them there? Why? Did the gun carrying person in the picture know he was moving in front of reporters? Did he place himself in that way at that location because he knew the press was there?
By cloning out the camera, the photographer wanted to avoid such questions being raised by the viewer. He wanted to suggest exclusive intimacy between him, the fighter and the war surrounding the scene. That is not a minor act, and Mr Contreras knows that full well. AP did the right thing.
On the other hand, If I was running a news agency, I would probably hire the talented Mr Contreras now, as he has certainly realised the risks of doctoring such images and wil never be tempted again.
OneMoreComment: No printed photo, No photograph.
Yes, it's still photograph--to draw with light--whatever the medium.
I love it.