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 that appears above the photo, while the “cutline” is a few lines of text under the photo.
An AP style caption is usually two sentences, with the first answering the question “What, exactly am I looking at?” (with names of the one or two most important people in the photo, the location / event, and date) and the second answering the question “Why is that newsworthy?” Space is limited; brevity is golden.
Here, we see a dry, pointless cutline that offers nothing at all that the reader can’t gather from the picture. Yes, I can see the guy is gesturing. Snooze!
A much more effective cutline builds on the photo to draws the reader into the story.
Update, 10 May 2023
Links to ibiblio now come up as “403 Forbidden.
Added link to Janet Walsh’s description of AP photo captions.