Although they get credit in captions, photojournalists work in comparative obscurity.
So it’s worth noting that Nick Ut
has announced his retirement from the Associated Press.
He’s the guy who took this picture.
South Vietnamese forces follow after terrified children, including 9-year-old Kim Phuc, center, as they run down Route 1 near Trang Bang after an aerial napalm attack on suspected Viet Cong hiding places on June 8, 1972. A South Vietnamese plane accidentally dropped its flaming napalm on South Vietnamese troops and civilians. The terrified girl had ripped off her burning clothes while fleeing. The children from left to right are: Phan Thanh Tam, younger brother of Kim Phuc, who lost an eye, Phan Thanh Phouc, youngest brother of Kim Phuc, Kim Phuc, and Kim’s cousins Ho Van Bon, and Ho Thi Ting. Behind them are soldiers of the Vietnam Army 25th Division. Nick Ut | AP
After Ut, who was 21 when he took the picture, snapped the image of 9-year old Kim Phuc, he rushed her to the hospital, which initially refused to help her, considering her too badly burned to save.
So Ut flashed his press credentials and told the hospital staff that the next day her image would be flashed all over the world along with a caption about the hospital’s refusal to help her.
Initially, the AP refused to transmit the photo because of its policy against nudity.
About the blogger
Bob Collins was with Minnesota Public Radio from 1992-2019. He was senior editor of news in the ’90s, ran MPR’s political unit, created the MPR News regional website, invented the popular Select A Candidate, started several blogs, and every day lamented that his Minnesota Fantasy Legislature project never caught on.