Home > Uncategorized > Captions sell stories, Friday lab (151)

Captions sell stories, Friday lab (151)

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  1. October 25, 2008 at 7:57 pm

    This caption made me want to read the accompanying article. Maybe because it is just an awesome subject…or maybe it’s just an awesome cutline.

    I like that it includes at least one specific example (Neiman Marcus). The photo was also really good.

    DJs’ Stylings Set a Tone and Spin an Image

    Mall stores increasingly rely on DJs as in-house entertainment, not just for special events but as a staple of high-traffic weekend shopping. Above, DJ Les Talusan spins tunes in a Neiman Marcus boutique. (Gerald Martineau/Post)

  2. Kylie Kinley
    October 26, 2008 at 7:39 pm

    My favorite cutline of the past week appeared in the Omaha World Herald on Sunday, Oct. 26, 2008.

    Chris Graf trudges through a frosted field north of Orleans, Neb., early Saturday, the first day of the ring-necked pheasant hunting season in Nebraska and Iowa. Pheasant season is a tradition in the Graf family, with father Pete Graf, 79, joining other relatives out in the family’s fields Saturday. The Grafs hunt pheasants, quail and deer on their land every fall. Chris Graf said he enjoyed Saturday’s outing even though it took him several hours to bag his first bird.

    The cutline is a little long, but it accompanied a stand-alone photo on the front page that referred to an article in the outdoor section of the paper, so I thought the length was fitting since the article itself was on a different page. I liked the visual words like “trudged” and “frosted fields.” The detail that sold me on reading the story was that the 79-year-old man still goes hunting with his family. I thought that was really neat, so I read the article.

  3. Charlie Pfister
    October 26, 2008 at 10:55 pm

    A caption I liked was on espn.com on Sunday afternoon. It said, “The TV numbers suggest nobody is paying attention to this World Series between the Rays and Phillies. Well, grab some coffee, turn off the football games and tune in. It’s quite a show.”
    I really liked this caption and thought it worked because it made me want to read the story and find out why so few people are tuning in and why the series is “quite a show.” I found the caption very personable saying things like “grab some coffee” and “turn off the football games” because it’s very true that many people are more interested in football than baseball and that coffee may be needed because the games have been on very late due to rain delays.
    This caption intrigued me and led to me reading the article, and I believe it had the same effect on other readers.

  4. Megan Nichols
    October 28, 2008 at 1:45 am

    I found this cutline on the Washington Post’s Day in Photos Web site. It stood out to me for two reasons: it brings to light an important and often overlooked issue-tension between North Korea and South Korea-and it gives me enough information to understand the meaning behind the photo while leaving me wondering about the details of the conflict.

    Oct. 27: South Korean activists for North Korea’s human rights release a balloon containing anti-Pyongyang leaflets toward the North off Geojin village in Goseong, Korea. According to the groups, the 100,000 leaflets printed on plastic sheets and in water-proof ink, carry the names of South Korean civilians and prisoners of war believed to be held in the North, and a family tree that allegedly maps Kim’s relationships with the several women who bore his children.

  5. Lauren Garcia
    October 31, 2008 at 1:23 pm

    I found a cutline I liked in the Omaha World-Herald on Oct 29. It was on the Husker page in the Sports section captioning a picture of the head coach at the University of Oklahoma. It read

    Oklahoma’s Bob Stoops said he became a better coach by preparing to face Tom Osborne’s offense.

    I like it because it’s short and gets right to the point of the article. The headline was “Osborne aided Stoops’ Success.” I think the reader already gets a pretty good idea of what the story is about, but after reading the cutline, which complements the headline, I wanted to read it for sure, if only to remember Osborne’s powerhouse offense.

  6. Logan Thompson
    October 31, 2008 at 2:52 pm

    My cutline was on the Journal Star website on Oct. 30. I can tell it was good because if I’d judged it based only on the picture I wouldn’t have read it. The picture was of a pretty simple mask, and the caption was:

    Catch live music, dress up for a costume contest or watch the derby girls: There’s a lot going on in town when Halloween falls on a Friday.

    It’s a simple “What’s going on this weekend” story, but it addresses the issue very well. There are a few examples in this caption alone, but it’s still not very long. They did a good job of getting their point across without using a lot of words. Plus, it’s a good cutline for the college crowd.

  7. Tawny Burmood
    October 31, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    I found many captions I liked on the Washington Post’s Day in Photos Web site, but I picked the one below, because it gave me all the information I needed to know about the picture. The picture is of a protest and many people holding signs, but I really like how they included what the signs said. You can’t tell by looking at the pictures what they say, so I thought that was the right thing to do in the caption.

    This caption doesn’t leave any unanswered questions about the photo, but it does leave me wanting to know more about the U.S. raid.

    From the washingtonpost.com, on Oct. 30:
    Women shout slogans as they protest a deadly U.S. raid that targeted a Syrian village near the Iraqi border on October 26 in Damascus, Syria. Thousands of people marched in the streets of of the capital city, waving Syrian flags and banners reading “No to American terrorism” and “American democracy — the killing of civilians at Abu Kamal,” the area targeted during the raid

  8. Jessie Evertson
    October 31, 2008 at 4:26 pm

    This cutline is from today’s New York Times from an article titled “For incomes below $100,000, a better tax break in Obama’s plan”

    A show of hands at an Obama rally Thursday after the candidate asked who made less than $250,000. Senator Barack Obama says those audience members would benefit from his plan.

    I like this cutline because when you just look at the picture you can’t really tell what’s going on so it answers that question for you. It also painted a picture by telling us why they were raising their hands and what Barack said about it.

  9. Amber Johnson
    October 31, 2008 at 4:32 pm

    USAToday.com ran a photograph of both presidential candidates. The caption read “The winner of this presidential contest will take office facing global economic instability and an array of foreign policy challenges.”

    The headline of the article read “Presidential Candidates Making Their Case.”

    I Really liked this caption because it summed up the following articles. The following articles were about the candidates stances on the economy.

    The caption did not state the obvious by putting their names in the caption. At this point, most readers should know who the two are. The caption also used phrases that I thought really stood out. The phrases “economic instability” and “foreign policy challenges” show readers exactly how important this election is.

  10. Kara Brown
    October 31, 2008 at 5:23 pm

    From MSNBC’s website feature entitled This Week in Pictures from Oct. 19 to 23, I found this cutline: “Talking business: A Palestinian smuggler speaks on a phone in a tunnel beneath the Egyptian-Gaza border Tuesday, Oct. 21. Hundreds of Gaza merchants throng around the border area of Rafah every day to pick up merchandise coming from to Gaza from Egypt via the subterranean passages that have created a flourishing trading zone.”

    There was no headline because the photo did not accompany a story. However, the cutline itself effectively summarizes what story could have accompanied it — it includes information about the man himself, his surroundings, and gives context and significance of it in the second sentence.

    This significance adds to the newsworthiness of the photo — it’s not just some man in a tunnel, it’s a desperate criminal struggling to survive a longstanding blockade that has encouraged criminal activity, among other things. This would draw readers in by giving enough information about an interesting and important topic that explains the high emotion in the photo, but not giving away too much.

    Although in most circumstances, “speaks on a phone” would be a horribly obvious phrase to put in a caption, the fact that the man’s face is obscured by a bandanna necessitates the explanation. This is an example of when it’s acually best to break the rules of headline writing.

  11. Travis Beck
    October 31, 2008 at 5:29 pm

    Drivers from rival taxi driver’s unions battle in the streets of La Paz, Bolivia during unrest surrounding the new leftist policies of President elect Evo Morales. Although Morales swept to victory on the high hopes of Bolivia’s historically opressed indigenous population, the streets of La Paz soon descended into chaos when groups of workers critical of Morales began clashing with pro-Morales worker groups.

    I found this caption on the college photographer of the year website under the spot news section. The subjects of the picture are tackling each other in the middle of a group of people. I think the caption does a good job of stating the who, what, when and where in the first sentence. The second sentence is a broader description of the context of the moment captured in the picture, and makes the caption more interesting. The caption does not state the obvious and reads very clearly with no unnecessary words. The author uses a strong active verb, “battles” to engage the readers right away. He/she could have used the word “fight” or “tackle”, but battle seems like the right word here. By providing a little history on President Morales and the election, the reader gains a true understanding of what’s going on in the photo, which in turn enhances the quality.

  12. Jenna Gibson
    October 31, 2008 at 5:54 pm

    A caption that I liked was from the Daily Nebraskan. There was a large photo package about a demonstration against the proposed affirmative action ban.

    The caption read:

    TOP: Thursday at noon, University of Nebraska-Lincoln students gathered in front of the Nebraska Union to protest proposed Initiative 424, which would ban affirmative action in Nebraska. Whittney LeBruce, a senior music education major, spoke with the press about the group’s position. ABOVE: Jessica Warren holds a sign where about 75 students gathered Thursday in front of the Nebraska Union. Although the university has supported their efforts against Initiative 424, participants said the rally was meant to remind students to vote against the ban.

    I liked the caption because it really told the reader anything and everything they would need to know to understand the photo. They identify the people in the photo, describe the scene, but while giving a background about the initiative, the university’s stance and the purpose of the protest. The only thing that could have enhanced this caption would be if they had included a quote from a participant.

  13. Anna Mostek
    October 31, 2008 at 7:06 pm

    WOW. I can’t believe how many horrible, horrible cutlines there are out there!

    It took me awhile to find one sparked my interest, but I eventually found it.
    Today’s San Bernardino Sun had a fitting story about Halloween festivities.

    The picture is a portrait of a man, Robert Silva, surrounded by many spooky characters. The caption: Robert Silva, center, has transformed the front of his Colton home into a haunted maze. Last year the maze attracted more than 1,000 people. This is the sixth year he has built the maze in his front yard.

    It’s short, simple, to the point. It intrigues me and makes me want to see this awfully amazing maze that has attracted 1,000 people. The caption tells me who the man is, where the maze is and obviously how popular it is. It’s not very elaborate but it’s simple and tells me what I need to know, which I always appreciate.

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