What writers and others say
“Too often, [captions] are the first thing the reader reads … and the last thing the newsroom slaps together.”
— Steve Buttry, director of tailored programs, American Press Institute
“A picture might be worth a thousand words, but when it’s paired with a caption that deepens, expands, or redefines its meaning, it can be worth a million.”
— Austin Kleon, a writer and artist living in Austin, Texas
“Don’t insult your readers. If you have a photo of an environmentalist standing next to a fence at a toxic dump site, don’t write, ‘John Johnson is standing next to the fence …’”
— Gregg McLachlan, associate managing editor, Simcoe Reformer
“If you want to trick someone with a photograph, you don’t need Photoshop. You don’t need sophisticated digital photo-manipulation. You don’t need a computer. All you need to do is change the caption.”
— Errol Morris, filmmaker
“Captions can be to stories what trailers are to movies — intriguing, compelling previews.”
— Monica L. Moses, deputy managing editor/visuals, Minneapolis Star Tribune
Are your headlines getting the word out?
“Readers” don’t read. Even highly educated web visitors read fewer than 20% of the words on a page.
Learn how to reach people who spend only two minutes — or even just 10 seconds — with your message at Catch Your Readers, our persuasive-writing workshop.
There, you’ll learn how to put your key messages where your readers’ eyes are. You’ll discover how deliver your key ideas to people who don’t read the paragraphs. And you’ll find out how to draw even reluctant audience members into your message.