The Reportage: A Format Made for Corporate Communications?

Reportage Format Definition Corporate Communications
Reportage as a format and opportunity for corporate communications | © Photo: FreePik

The reportage is a TV format that can be easily transferred to other areas of application. For example, for corporate communications, PR, marketing or even advertising. Here we explain to you what makes this genre special.

The raving reporter immediately triggers a whole series of images in the mind. Partly coined from the days when magazines weren’t yesterday’s news, the term stands for proximity, action and a narrative from the reporter’s point of view. That pretty much hits the nail on the head.

The reportage as an own, direct form of representation

Reportage (from the Latin reportare = to report, to report) is the form of presentation of a genre of series in which the author does not report from behind a desk, but from direct observation.

In the print media, the term stands for a dramaturgically prepared background report that illustrates a fact using concrete examples, people or their fates.

The reporter is allowed to supplement facts with his own impressions gathered at the scene of the event, or through research. The reality is not shown in the reportage from the desk.

Definition of reportage

Whereas news broadcasts and reports maintain a certain distance, reportage gets up close and personal and also allows space for observations and other sensory perceptions of its protagonists. In television, this type of format is often referred to as a documentary or feature.

In the news business, even simple reporting outside the newsroom is considered reportage. Sports journalists who commentate live from the stadium on football matches are often referred to as football reporters.

The role of the reporter

The reporter is allowed – in contrast to the writer of news or reports – to enrich facts(facts) with things and experiences that he has gained by being directly on the spot.

  • Either the reporter narrates without judging or commenting (even by omission).
  • Or supplements the narrative with his own impressions, which must be named as a subjective experience.

The reporter confines himself to a narrative function. He speaks mostly in the present tense. The effect of this is that the television viewer is able to put himself in the situation. He also reveals his role by being introduced to the viewer with his name and function, titled by a belly band.

Let’s imagine a house was on fire. The report describes in detail what it looks like in the house. She tries to trigger images in the recipient’s mind. She describes the “scorched, black stair railings that are hard to tell are made of wood.” A reportage can be linked with interviews and commentaries.

The reportage/reporter can also use off-commentary and make use of the content-related and dramaturgical possibilities of off-voice.

Differentiation of the reportage from the docu-soap

Docu-soap and reportage are often blurredly distinguished from each other.

In contrast to a pure documentary or reportage, the docusoap is driven by its actors. What is the difference between the two formats? It is person-driven, whereas in documentaries and reportages a fact (which can be illustrated by one or more persons) is usually central.

Both types of game, reportage and docu-soap, are suitable for adaptation for communication projects that go beyond pure entertainment purposes, for example for concepts for serial moving image communication as part of a multi-channeling strategy.


The frequency and importance of adapted concepts based on reportage is trending. It will increase in corporate communications. As an image film, the form of reportage convinces through originality and authenticity.

You need to know

  • Reportage as a moving image format stands for immediacy. This goes hand in hand with a high degree of authenticity in reporting. At the same time, it is always close to an event.
  • Theoretical explanations are not the main focus of a report. The focus is always on concrete events that are tangible for the viewer. Contextual knowledge must therefore always refer to this.
  • The reporter reports from his own point of view. He looks at things from his perspective. This is by its very nature subjective.

Not only in B2C and print, mass media have given way to an unmanageable flood of media masses: all the more important in the battle for attention are effective, proven concepts, which are expanded by clever minds to new uses and varieties.

This article was automatically translated into English using AI. If you would like to help us improve the quality, we would be happy to hear from you.

Markus Röthl
About Markus Röthl 6 Articles
Markus Röthl ist Geschäftsführer der Fernsehproduktionsgesellschaft FaroTV und Mitglied der Geschäftsleitung der Condor Films AG.

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