As explained by the maker it was not sent in as a news photograph but to serve as an editorial for an environmental magazine. It was the magazine that allowed it to be published in a news magazine........
So, can't blame the photographer really, unless he lied about the above story.
Half-truths sometimes do not make whole truths. It's a shame that he didn't refuse the award...he should have known his manipulated photograph does not qualify for the award.
Nevertheless, it is a great photograph (or "photographic composition", if there's such a term).
the Award should goes to Photoshop