Visual Report: Characteristics and Examples

He visual report It is one of the variants of the report as a journalistic genre that refers to the audiovisual media (television and photography, mainly). One of the characteristic features of a report is that it deals with a current issue.

Its main objective is to report on a specific event of social importance. It shows a present fact and delves into contextual aspects. In a visual report, the structure of the narrative includes interviews and contextual images that serve to contrast the points of view that arise during the report.

Visual report

Likewise, it uses images that allow the dynamization of the content that is shown. In case of photographic reportage, the images serve as a testimony to show the events in a certain place, during a specific period.


  • 1 Definition and origins
  • 2 Realization structure
    • 2.1 Preproduction
    • 2.2 Production
    • 2.3 Postproduction
  • 3 characteristics
  • 4 Types
    • 4.1 Audiovisual
    • 4.2 Photo report or photoreport
  • 5 Difference between visual and documentary reporting
  • 6 Examples
    • 6.1 Triálogo
    • 6.2 Genesis
    • 6.3 Slaves of Daesh
  • 7 References

Definition and origins

The report takes into account a main fact of current and social interest, and its development is carried out in a systematic and planned manner. The visual report uses the audiovisual language, whose basic elements are the word, music, noise and image.

Some experts indicate that the beginnings of audiovisual reporting began with two fundamental events:

-During the Crimean War, in the middle of s. XIX After the popularization of photography, it was possible to document the events faithfully.

-During the Second World War the radio became the first channel for the transmission of information regarding the different events that took place during the war. From there, there was a combination of the informative element and the explanation of the facts through opinions and / or interviews.

Currently, visual reports are also extended to other dissemination platforms (such as the Internet) that allow the expansion of knowledge and varieties of this genre.

Realization structure

For the elaboration of a visual -and audiovisual- report it is necessary to take into account the following:


For photography as well as for radio and television, preproduction is a process that allows to establish the type of subject to be treated and the guidelines that will be taken to work during the report.

Corresponds to the research process and budget evaluation. You can even lean on storyboard , a resource that allows the visualization of the events and the follow-up of the story.

In media such as radio and television, this stage requires the preparation of a script, in addition to the study of the plans and the locations for the recording.


It refers to the execution of the report. In the case of the photographic type, this contemplates the taking of the images. As for radio and television, it is the recording.

The setting will depend on the placement of the lighting, the sound and the position of the cameras. In both cases, at the end of the process the material is collected for the next phase: post-production.


Corresponds to the editing of the images. According to several authors, post-production will depend on the correct execution of the two previous processes, since it is desired to maintain as much fidelity as possible in order to respect the informative component.

Regarding the narrative, in general terms the guidelines of a traditional report will be followed.


-It is considered a variety of reporting; therefore, it is journalistic in nature.

-The objective is to try to show a current event and social interest.

-The facts are shown dynamically.

-Conjugan informative and entertainment components.

-The investigation and preparation process is present.

-It is concentrated in a specific point of a certain fact.

-In the case of audiovisual reports, it relies on interviews as a component of contrast between different opinions about the subject.

-Although it has certain characteristics with the documentary, in the end they are two different materials.


Essentially, you can find two types of visual reports:


Report whose platforms of expression are radio, television and even Internet. It uses images in sequences, photos, interviews and statistics, among other resources.

In this type of report there is a process of preproduction, recording and editing, which include the use of the audiovisual language's own resources.

Photo report or photoreport

The main basis of this is in the taking of images that show the reality of a given event. To obtain images, it is worth using techniques and concepts of this branch, such as planes, angles, lighting and framing among other concepts.

The idea is to prevent the subjects from posing and thus preserve the spontaneity of the moment. As in the previous format, you must consider a story that has a beginning, a development and a closure. The main resource for the realization of this report is the camera.

Magnum Agency

In the case of photo-reporting, it is worth mentioning the role of the Magnum agency, an organization that brings together the work of photographers, as well as materials made in different historical periods.

Founded in 1947 by Robert Capa and Henti Cartier-Bresson, Magnum emerged as an institution that encourages the cooperation of workers in this branch, in order to give them freedom in terms of performance and themes to be portrayed.

Even on the website of the organization it is possible to find a series of reports made throughout the world.

Difference between visual and documentary reporting

In general, the documentary format tends to be confused with visual reporting. However, despite the fact that they share several elements (from the narrative to the preparation of the information), the difference lies in how the subject is approached.

Regardless of the format, the story has a current trait, since it deals with a topic at a certain point in the story.

On the other hand, the documentary is a cinematographic subgenre that is of a timeless nature, since it considers more global aspects of the treated topic. It has educational purposes and its narrative includes both artistic and informative elements.



Material made by Gonzalo Orquín, who photographed a series of couples located in various alters of Catholic churches in Rome.


The photographer Sebastiao Salgado captured different scenarios still virgin or with little influence of civilization.

Slaves of Daesh

It is about the influence of this organization and its actions on the Middle East. He was awarded as the Best Documentary at the Hamburg Festival.


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  2. Definition of report. (s.f.) In Retrieved: March 29, 2018. In of
  3. The photographic report. (s.f.) In CCM. Retrieved: March 29, 2018. In CCM
  4. Slaves of Daesh. (s.f.) In RTVE. Retrieved: March 29, 2018. In RTVE of
  5. Espinosa Moreno, Shepherdess. The television report and its interpretations of reality . (2011). In UCM Journals. Retrieved: March 29, 2018. In Magazines UCM de
  6. Reportage. (s.f.) In Wikipedia. Retrieved: March 29, 2018. On Wikipedia from
  7. Salguero, Cindy. Audiovisual report: Landivarian clubs and their contribution to the student's integral development . (2013). In the Rafael Landívar University Library. Retrieved: March 29, 2018. In the Rafael Landívar University Library of
  8. Zaiter, Massy. 12 photographs of reports to learn from them . (2017). In Photographic Culture. Retrieved: March 29, 2018. In Cultura Fotográfica de culturafotográ

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