Home > Uncategorized > Captions explain pictures and also sell stories

Captions explain pictures and also sell stories

Readership studies show that cutlines, or captions, often get higher readership than text. Monica Moses, design guru at the Poynter Institute, suggests cutlines may determine whether or not a reader is engaged enough to read the accompanying story. Use them, she says, to sell your story.  Her colleague, Ken Irby, the visual group leader at Poynter, offers excellent suggestions on how to write captivating cutlines. Read the links to both of these articles. Then, find a photo caption that you like. In the comments section for your lab, cite the cutline you like, where you found it, and tell me briefly why you think it worked. This is due by the beginning of your labs next week (the week of Oct. 27).

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  1. Cassandra Thomas
    October 27, 2008 at 8:28 pm

    My favorite cutline was featured on the Omaha World-Herald’s Midlands front page on Oct. 27. The article was entitled “Getting Down to Business” and featured two Omaha schools providing their students with simulated real-life working experiences. The caption was:

    PUPILS LEARN THEY MUST REAP WHAT THEY SOW “Evan Harris checks out the banana peppers in teh Western Hills Magnet Center’s school garden. Students recently applied for a variety fo jobs around the school, from gardener to tour guide. Evan’s duties this year are to serve as a school ambassador.”

    The picture features a young boy reaching through a massive green plant for pepper with the school in the background. I think the caption does a great job of quickly explaining what the story is about without explaining word for word what the picture already shows. It also gives a little history about the child pictured and the work he is doing.

    While searching for a great caption, I found an interesting section on page 2E of the Living Section. It was titled “Creative Captions.” Editors supply a photo and readers send in possible witty captions. I thought they were fun to read and really related to what we are doing in class!

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