Sunday, January 23, 2011


Friends reunite at the sculpture known on the University of Florida campus as "the french fries" on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2010. PHOTO BY Doug Finger of The Gainesville Sun. 
This photo and its caption have nothing to do with the story on Florida Prepaid College Plans. Unfortunately, this is often done because photos make stories stronger, but it would not have been hard to go to UF’s financial aid office and take a picture of students in line paying tuition. I understand the difficulty in pairing a photo to a conceptual story, but my example makes a little more sense over two students hugging by the French fries.

Better: Students in line at the UF financial aid office on Wednesday, Jan. 5, 2010. Parents of future college students are now facing the decision of purchasing a Florida Prepaid College Plan or investing in a 529 savings plan in efforts to keep up with rising tuition costs.

Simon and Tiger, two greyhounds who belong to local members of Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions, relax outdoors. Photo was a special to The Independent Florida Alligator.

This caption is great, only after you read the story. Before I read the story, I had several questions after reading the caption. What is the Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions? What is their purpose? And why greyhounds? Reading this story answers these questions but just a quick sentence at the end of this caption regarding the nonprofit organization would have made this better.

Better: (Add) Founded in 2003, Gold Coast Greyhound Adoptions is a nonprofit organization that finds homes for greyhounds that are retired from racing.

George Skeris, a general member of the Gator Motorsports club, poses in the shell of an unfinished student-built race car while the bodies of past cars hang from the ceiling. PHOTO BY Max Reed of The Independent Florida Alligator.
I think the problem with this caption here is that it gives the readers no idea of why they are being exposed to this photo. Adding a quick summation sentence about the story at the end of this caption would do wonders.

Better: (Add) Gator Motorsports is competing in an international student competition at the Michigan International Speedway in May, where they hope to place in the top 10 for a fourth consecutive year.  

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