Writing a Cutline (Caption): Three Examples

In journalism, the “cutline” is the text below a picture, explaining what the reader is looking at. It’s what most people call a caption, but to a journalist, a “caption” is more like a title, while the “cutline” first describes what is happening in the picture, and then explains the significance of the event depicted.

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Here, we see a dry, pointless cutline offers nothing at all that the reader can’t gather from the picture. Yes, I can see the guy is gesturing. Snooze!

Screen Shot 2014-10-09 at 3.10.30 PMSame picture, different cutline. Here the reader learns something new, though the detail seems a little random.
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A much more effective cutline builds on the photo to draws the reader into the story — but without repeating information that’s already in the article itself.

These great cutline examples come from ibiblio.