ERIC Number: ED203361
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1981-Aug
Reference Count: 0
Changes in the Wording of Cutlines Fail to Reduce Photographs' Offensiveness.
Fedler, Fred; And Others
A study examined whether changes in the wording of the cutline would have a significant impact upon readers' responses to the content of a controversial or potentially offensive photograph. Twenty-two variables, including nudity, proximity, and magnitude and innocence were chosen from those concerning editors and readers or those likely to affect responses to photographs. Photographs were then selected to illustrate each variable and two versions of a cutline were written for each photograph. Changes in the cutline wording were designed to alter readers' perceptions of the variable under consideration. The photographs were given to college students who were instructed to arrange them in order, with the photograph they considered to be most offensive on the top. The students also rated each picture's tastefulness, newsworthiness, likability, and powerfulness. Overall, there were no significant differences in the reactions of respondents who received the different cutlines, indicating that readers responded to the photographs themselves and that the photographs' meaning and impact was not significantly altered by the words accompanying them. (FL)
Publication Type: Reports - Research; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers: Reader Response
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Association for Education in Journalism (64th, East Lansing, MI, August 8-11, 1981).