A little evening morsel for you sad souls who have evidently nothing better to do on a Saturday night.
I wonder how many of you, and I mean civilians, not journalists, would be bothered to see information in a photo caption that is not duplicated in the associated article.
Let me explain.
One of the things drummed in to copy editors as we labor over captions is not to merely describe what is obvious in the image. You know, the "X shakes hands with Y as both grin vacuously at the camera" caption. The term of art is "grip and grin."
The other thing drummed in to us is to use the caption to present information other than what is in the headlines so as to make the caption an additional encouragement to the reader to look at the story. The term of art is "point of entry."
It is standard practice in the trade not to run a photo of someone not mentioned in the text, and I can understand that. You see a photo of an identified person with the story, you expect that person to be mentioned in the text.
But recently, and I return to the original subject, some colleagues have challenged captions that contained information pertinent to the subject that was not included in the story. I suspect that it is an unwarranted extension of the prohibition on running a photo of a person not mentioned. If the information in the caption is relevant to the story and accurate, what harm comes from running it? It's not as if we're at a court of law raising facts not entered into evidence.
So. You are a non-journalist reader. You read an article with accompanying photos, and the photo captions contain information not duplicated in the text of the article. Does this disturb you in any way? Do you even notice?
Is this some journalistic superstition, like the shying away from "bad breaks" in headlines?
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