Characteristics of report structure and functions with types


report is a narrative or report through which an attempt is made to delve into a publicly known event, including new information or presenting new perspectives. That is, it is a tool used to expand a news item on which you want to emphasize. Report characteristics types functions

Mainly, the report belongs to the informative genre, in which the humanization of the story, the narrative structure, and the use of a quasi-literary language prevails, all this without losing sight of the honesty of the facts described.

For the optimal writing of a report, the journalist must delve into the events of the news, contacting the protagonists and witnesses of the event. You must inquire about the antecedents, collecting information, and analyzing the causes and reasons for it.

All this, with the aim of knowing the fact deeply in order to finally expose it to the audience, giving it different perspectives.

Likewise, the report brings together techniques and methods of different genres, such as articles, news, and chronicles, among others. This being one of the reasons why it is considered, within news journalism, as the genre that grants the most freedoms.

Characteristics of a report

Some of the most outstanding features of the report are the following:


To produce a reliable report, it is necessary to previously carry out a documentation process, in order to investigate, gather testimonies, evidence, important dates, names, visit the site where the event occurred, and any other type of data that may be collected. . Thus enabling the construction of a general panorama of the situation as objective as possible.

2-Objectivity and truthfulness

The facts and data discussed in the report must be objective, verified with various sources and truthful, that is, they conform to reality.


For the writing of a report, the journalist can include linguistic resources characteristic of other genres such as the essay or the novel, among others. In addition, it is totally free when selecting the topic to develop in it.


The style by which a report is presented is totally in the hands of the journalist, it is for this reason that there are different approaches or points of view on the same event or news.


The content of the report is usually shocking. The events that motivate it cause total or partial shock to the community that reads, watches or listens to them. In general, these stories generate opinions for and against. Thus, the report can cause solidarity, rejection or, at least, controversy.


A report can be based on a story from the past, it should not necessarily be about the present.


In most cases, the report is accompanied by an image, photo or graphic.

Report structure

The fact that the report is a genre that has great freedom, both in its style and in its structure, means that there is no fixed structure when writing them. However, there are some parts that are found in most reports, which are listed below. Report characteristics types functions


The title, title or headline, is usually considered one of the most important parts in the preparation of a report, since its purpose is to capture the attention of readers.

To achieve this goal, the title can use different stylistic resources, such as double meaning, paradox, metaphor or antithesis, among others. In addition, it can contain subtitles, highlights, and summary.

Finally, the length of the title is usually less than eight words, for this reason creativity and originality must be used to make it attractive and at the same time transmit information.

2-Opening or lead

The opening or lead is used as an introduction to the text, and is intended to stimulate the reader to read the full report. For this you can use resources such as contrast or irony.

In addition, to achieve a good opening, it is preferable that it does not contain facts, but that it makes a gradual presentation of the subject to the reader, motivating him to continue reading.

3-Development or body

The development or body is the part where the journalist focuses on transmitting the event on which the report is based.

It is organized in short paragraphs in which the questions outlined in the lead are developed in extensive detail. Additionally, quotes from key people involved or related to the article are included.

4-End or conclusion

The end or conclusion is used to close the report, and as in the other parts, it does not have a specific structure for its elaboration.

It is for this reason that the end of a report can include a summary of the text, introduce a question, or quote a phrase from the interviewee.

Functions: what is a report for?


The informative function is the raison d’être of journalism. By extension, it is also vital for reporting. Thus, one of the basic functions of reporting is to provide citizens with information. It can help them make the best possible decisions about their lives, their communities, their societies, and their governments. Report characteristics types functions


Without a detailed description of the facts, the information does not exist. Sometimes the situation forces the reporter to introduce an interpretation of the events that he describes. This implies a certain subjectivity that puts the integrity of the report at risk.


The investigative function of the report represents the framework on which the rest of its functions rest. Taking into account that the vast majority of the events reported come from witnesses, the report is complemented by consulting other sources for corroboration purposes.

Types of report

There are several different types of reports, below are some of the most important.

1-Objective or informative report

The objective or informative report has the particularity that it is based solely on data, testimonies of people or details of environments, among others, thus discarding the opinion of the journalist.

They are generally built with graphics or illustrations based on surveys or official reports, and statements from people associated with the topic under development.

2-Interpretive report

The interpretive report seeks to delve into the reasons that generated the event about which it is going to be written, the present and the future of it. Additionally, it grants the journalist the freedom to present value judgments or personal interpretations, based on the information obtained from the fact.

Consequently, both the structure and the linguistics used to write an interpretive report have total freedom.

3-Investigative or demonstrative report

This type of report is characterized by being objective and truthful, requiring the journalist to carry out an exhaustive research work on the fact that is going to be written.

In addition, it has the particularity of having irrefutable information and data from sources, which are generally kept anonymous, but which the journalist fully trusts.

4-Social report

Social reporting is used to deal with everyday issues, such as new habits or behaviors of social groups. They generally focus on some news, and describe the impact that this fact generates in a certain social group. Report characteristics types functions

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