Because you used the Law & Order example, I'll assume you're talking about a criminal case in the United States.
No, the witness may not refuse to answer, because yes, there is a legal basis for requiring a person to read something out loud. The point of a subpoena is that it legally compels you to appear and testify, and to testify fully and truthfully about whatever you are asked. More specifically, a criminal defendant has a Sixth Amendment right to force witnesses to appear and testify.
On a more practical note, it is not really the case that a lawyer could simply read the article into evidence. If he has the witness on direct examination, asking the question as "Doesn't your article say that x?" would be a leading question, in violation of Rule 611, and even on a cross-examination, when leading is allowed, an attorney's question about what the article says is still just a question, not evidence. The jury should not, from his question, draw a conclusion that he is correct about the contents of the article.
Moreover, there are certain instances where statements may be read to the jury but are explicitly prohibited from being submitted to the jury as an exhibit (Rule 803(18)), which really requires you to ask the witness to read it out loud.
An image projected on a wall isn't in the record. You need someone to read the words out loud so the stenographer can take them down. The person reading can't be the attorney or bailiff because they aren't under oath, meaning what they say isn't evidence, and the jury can't treat it as evidence. If you want the jury to consider it, you need the witness's testimony.