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11. If you are a news reporter, find a happy medium between the people's right to know and your right to not get kidnapped/held hostage/etc.

"This is great! I must really be onto something hot if they're trying to kill me!"


* snap snap snap*

Phoenix: "Lotta! Now of all times?!?"

Lotta: "Why not, these blood scenes always spell a story!"
Phoenix Wright Justice For All second case

Some people are thrill seekers, nothing wrong or unusual with that. Still, even Bungee jumpers wear harnesses, and Great White photographers dive inside of titanium cages. Not so with the Intrepid Reporter. While Going For The Big Scoop they will ignore, nay, actively run towards danger to find whoever or whatever is causing it.

It's not that they're Too Dumb to Live - they knowingly choose to take these risks... perhaps because they know the hero will swoop in and save them if they get in enough pointless danger. Extra points if after being rescued and admonished by the hero to get to safety, the first thing they do is run towards the same danger they had to be rescued from again!

Certain amount of Truth in Television, war correspondents have a bit of a reputation for being danger and adrenaline junkies. The School Newspaper Newshound can often do this in series combining high school students with high danger.

May result from "I'm Going for a Closer Look". If they don't have main character status, inevitably becomes a Red Shirt Reporter - but any character like this will be satisfied that even if you kill them, you Can't Stop the Signal. Often, the big break in the case may come from unconventional sources...

Compare Camera Fiend. See also Reckless Sidekick.

Note to those putting up examples: This trope is about reporters. Only reporters.

Examples of Going for the Big Scoop include:

Anime and Manga

  • Kazumi Asakura from Mahou Sensei Negima. She actually manages to mostly avoid the whole Distressed Damsel aspect; the one time she gets captured by an enemy it has nothing to do with her attempts to get a story.
    • She gradually loses this trait. Of course, this probably has something to do with invariably winding up keeping every big scoop a secret after finding out it would probably be a bad idea to get her teacher/longshot romantic interest fired. She's now more of The Trickster, with her Cute Ghost Girl best friend as a sidekick. (She can manage to look like an Expy of Mitsune while doing it.)
  • Wolfina from Zombie Powder.
  • Yusuke Tozawa from Witchblade anime. Inspector Nakata abhors him and calls him "Hyena" for hunting after murder scenes, and as we can see in ep. 08 with displeased security guys, it's not the first time he asks for trouble.
  • This is what gets Kinue Crossroad killed in season 1 of Mobile Suit Gundam 00.
  • Erika from Medabots is always on the hunt for a big scoop, even if that involves charging blindly into the Vice District of town. Despite her being, hmmm, 12.
  • Diethard from Code Geass in Episode 4. "I want that camera right in his face!"
  • Had Tatsumi Saiga not snuck into a certain high-class club for the rich and wealthy from Tokyo, he would've never become the main character indeed.
  • Mika of Yes! Pretty Cure 5 is only a middle school School Newspaper Newshound and already appears to have entirely suppressed her self-preservation instincts. Then again, it's not surprising that a character who is basically named "Mass Media-ka" would want to get a head start on her reporter tropes.
  • This trope got Carly Nagisa/Carmine killed and brought Back From the Dead to put her love interest Jack in a lose-lose situation of either killing her again, or losing to her and joining her in her Lotus Eater Machine hell.
  • His insistence on playing amateur investigator is what gets freelance photographer Takaba Akihito into trouble over and over and over throughout the Finder Series.
  • Becky the information broker gets herself into trouble looking for exclusive info to sell several times in the first Gunsmith Cats series.

Comic Books

  • There's a reason Lois Lane was called an "Intrepid Reporter", it's because she had absolutely no instinct for self preservation... at least, if she does, she never lets it get in the way of getting that Big Scoop. Especially amusing in the 1940s serials.
    • She does have the world's most powerful being constantly looking out for her, but she did this before Superman came to Metropolis too. Having him around just let her have free reign to take even more crazy risks.
      • Lampshaded in an episode for the DCAU. Mooks take Air Force One while Lois is aboard, she does something stupid and earns their ire, then they panic upon learning she's "That Lois Lane."

 Terrorist: Lane? Lois Lane? The one Superman always saves?

Lois: 'Fraid so.

    • Furthermore, during the year of Superman being depowered (in the Crisis Crossover "52") Clark Kent starts doing the same thing, by jumping out of a window to get the attention of the mysterious superhero Supernova. Lois is both aghast at what he's doing and annoyed at being reminded who inspired those stunts.
  • In the recent The Spirit remake (the comic book, not the film), he rescues a reporter from horrible danger. They have to run fast and hard to escape the mooks pursuing them...who always seem to have a heads up. Meanwhile The Spirit is freaking out because the reporter keeps talking all weird and dramatically. Turns out the reporter had a hidden audio broadcast device which the mooks, and thankfully the police, were listening in on. The reporter then totally 'dumps on' The Spirit in an interview with others a few days later, lying and claiming she did all the work.
  • Transmetropolitan, Spider Jerusalem. He will do anything to himself and the rest of the world for The Truth. "Sometimes I think that if I let my brain know what my gut was propelling me into, it'd chuck itself out my ear."
  • Although April O'Neil is not a reporter in the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles comics, the Intrepid Reporter role was eventually filled by Lauren Stanton, who, as a writer for "The Bullet", investigates gangland activity in New York. In her debut appearance, she is seen infiltrating a night club in order to spy on the underworld's movers and shakers, and later on, she attempts to report on a deal between groups.
  • So you see this plane come down. You go to help. They shoot you. You get out of the hospital and decide to investigate. So they leave you unconscious in a burning building and sabotage the firetrucks. After getting out of the hospital again, what do you do? Well if you're Tintin, then obviously you have to go check out their creepy isle citadel from which no one ever returns and from which strange monster howls come from.

Fan Fiction

  • The reporters in Aeon Natum Engel are unambitious and do what the government tells them to do. Why they don't go searching for hidden conspiracies? Because it's stupid in their situation, where creating chaos by revealing a new enemy when the humanity got it's hands full and more with existing enemies is a last thing anybody needs, including the reporters.


  • This was the role of Vicki Vale in Burton's Batman. She did such things as take a flash picture while armed goons were removing Batman's mask, fer Alfred's sake!
    • It did serve as a handy distraction when Batman was about to be unmasked...
  • Polly Perkins does this annoyingly often in Sky Captain and The World of Tomorrow (2004).
  • Lois Lane. To the extent of bringing her four-year-old son to investigate a potentially dangerous lead, without telling anyone where she went.
  • Obnoxious tabloid reporter Thomas Kemp in the monster-movie Alligator. He goes snooping around the sewer looking for "Ramon", the titular mankiller. They meet, and Kemp's recovered Apocalyptic Log photographs force the authorities to finally take the problem seriously.
  • Although she's clearly inspired by Lois Lane, Roxanne Ritchi in Megamind doesn't seem to Go For The Big Scoop so much as Get Dragged Into The Big Scoop, since the titular supervillain keeps kidnapping her and using her as a hostage to bait his arch-nemesis.
  • The protagonist of Hellraiser III Hell On Earth is Joey Summerskill, a reporter is sees her big break when she witnesses the effects of the Lament Configuration on a hosptial patient and gets wrapped up Pinhead's plot.


  • In classic Intrepid Reporter tradition, William de Worde from TheTruth recklessly joined an apparent suicide-jumper on a high ledge to conduct an interview. The usual Big Damn Heroes scene to follow is subverted, in that the jumper was only faking to get a free meal out of the City Watch, and wound up carrying William down after the newbie reporter nearly fainted and fell to his death.
  • Denn Dur, a Sullustan from the MedStar Duology, explicitly goes running for trouble to report on, although he complains about doing so and is very cynical about hero types. In Coruscant Nights he's not really a reporter anymore, but he still does it, because his True Companions are usually there, although he complains even more, since he's not even getting paid now.
  • Susan Rodriguez is like this in the first few Dresden Files novels. She knows the supernatural exists, and is obsessed with finding out about it and getting the truth out, to the point that she lets it override her common sense (and Harry's desperate warnings) to get the job done. Eventually she pushes it too far, attends a vampire party that she should have stayed far away from, and ends up becoming a Red Court Vampire Refugee constantly having to suppress the urge to kill. And no, she is not Cursed with Awesome; true Red Court vamps are inhuman monsters, and the bloodlust is strong enough that she sometimes can't control it at all.
    • Susan comes close to be a deconstruction of the trope, whether or not Butcher intended it that way, and it goes on beyond the incident at the vampire party, eventually Susan's recklessness and failure to look at the world realistically gets her killed under ghastly circumstances. Over the course of the books we see Susan repeat the same basic error over and over, with tragic results.

Live Action TV

  • Damien Day from Drop the Dead Donkey probably counts. (He's also willing to endanger, or at least frighten other people for a story). He was later revealed to be a virgin who channeled his sexual drive into his work, but then had a brief fling with a similarly inclined female reporter which was built around having sex in dangerous places.
    • He also always carried a bloodstained teddy bear in his briefcase, in case there weren't any sufficiently shocking images available at the disaster scene.
    • At one disaster scene he wanted to film with a crying child, but the only child in the vicinity was perfectly happy. So Damien slapped him.
    • His cameraman suffers greatly for this; Damien at one point asks another member of the office to call his cameraman's wife after he's been hurt, noting that "she tends to get hysterical when she hears my voice on the phone."
  • Including, but not limited to, Smallville's Lois Lane. They pretty much all do this to some extent.
    • In Lois and Clark, though, she starts to get at least a little Genre Savvy a few seasons in. A few days before her wedding to Clark, she starts freaking out because "anytime we're happy, something terrible happens!" Naturally, on the day of the wedding she's kidnapped by Lex Luthor and replaced with a clone. Oh, and then she gets amnesia for a few episodes and believes herself to be a character from her secret romance novel, and Luthor to be "Kent," her love. Should've taken that honeymoon a little early after all. Or just not investigated that "one little story..."
  • A Deconstruction appears in season 5 of The Wire - a reporter angling for a Pulitzer tries to act this role, along with making up sources and just plain lying, to get the perfect angle on a serial killer story. We know he never did anything remotely brave, and his personal communications with the "killer" are entirely fictitious... but everyone else seems to buy it.
  • Daniel in Sex Traffic. He makes the not so smart move of trying to film a transaction taking place, despite the obviously evil guys standing right next to him. Naturally, he gets beat up for the trouble.

Video Games

  • Looks like Raidou gets the first Video Game example on the page. Or, to be more precise, the game's Intrepid Reporter, Tae "Kichou" Asakura. The monster Red Cape has been spotted in an abandoned factory? You wrote yourself that it "leaves behind nothing but a bloody corpse"? You have a problem with Fainting under pressure or when extremely startled (and surely you must know this fact about yourself...)? You wear high heels, which, as you know, are not conducive to running for your life? Sure, no problem, you're gonna go all by yourself! Thankfully, she seems to have learned her lesson from that experience and asks someone to go with her next time she's working on a dangerous scoop. Hooray for Character Development!
    • Another Atlus example can be found in Nocturne with Hijiri, an occult journalist who sets his sights on Hikawa, whom he accuses of leading a fanatical cult obsessed with the end of the world into a massacre against an opposing cult. This ends up getting him caught up in the apocolypse, and he STILL insists on getting his scoop.
      • Least unlike most examples he managed to have the sense to stay in the nice, SAFE little save points after the city wrapped itself around a big ball of light - until Isamu manages to piss him off enough that he goes crazy.
      • It probably doesn't hurt matters that Hijiri actually did die in the Conception; the Hijiri you encounter in the Vortex World is actually Hijiri's soul in a manikin body.
  • Robot Alchemic Drive gives us the borderline-sucidal Mika Banhara, who in a few levels decides to get a close-up of two Humongous Mecha fighting. If she dies, it's a Nonstandard Game Over. It's worst when she's in a van and seems to intentionally park underfoot.
  • Dead Rising's Frank West, who takes time out to shoot photos of the zombies trying to gnaw on his arm. For that matter, any game featuring a lot of First-Person Snapshooter gameplay.
  • Likewise, Ran Hibiki of the Rival Schools games is more than happy to get herself and her friends mixed up in an evil student's plot to take over the local schools, if it means uncovering the truth gets her a story on the front page of Taiyo High's newspaper.
  • Space Channel 5 is all about reporters going after the big scoop and saving the galaxy.
  • Lotta Hart does it all the time in the Phoenix Wright saga. Her photos are usually both the making and the breaking of the case against the defendant of whatever case she's gotten sucked into.
    • Her photos that Phoenix uses for evidence are usually blurry, at odd angles, or out of focus, which makes Phoenix's cases much more difficult for him, which makes one wonder how Lotta can still be making a living as a photographer.
  • Aya Shameimaru from Touhou is known to act like this. In fact, she has her own spin-off game series whose premise is entirely that she intentionally pisses off the bosses of all the other games in order to take pictures of their bullet patterns, and supposedly interview them. She can get away with it because she's no slouch herself when it comes to fighting.
  • Subverted in Mass Effect. Just before the launch of Mass Effect 3, Emily Wong livetweets the Reaper invasion of Earth. This would generally constitute Going For The Big Scoop, but she displays plenty of common sense in avoiding the actual Reapers, and trying to stay alive. It doesn't work - her shuttle takes a hit, wounding her and killing her team. Then she decides to ram a Reaper.

Western Animation

  • Lois Lane in the Golden Age Superman cartoon shorts. Always.
    • She's not much different in the DCAU either.
    • Deconstructed in Superman: Doomsday, in which Lois' grief at the death of Superman sees her begin to turn this tendency to Death Seeker levels; Perry White notes darkly at one point that she's still throwing herself recklessly into dangerous situations but Superman isn't around to pull her chestnuts out of the fire anymore.
  • April O'Neil of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
    • Though only in the '80s cartoon incarnation (and I assume Archie comics as well).
    • Vernon Fenwick also does this frequently, as he's usually trying to out-scoop April.
  • Ann Gora from Swat Kats. She and her camera man (kat?) are always dangerously close to the action, just to get their scoop.
  • Daphne in Scooby Doo on Zombie Island. Freaky things are happening that threaten herself and her friends, but at least this makes great material for her talk show! Until the footage gets lost in quicksand.

Web Comics

  • You know, that thing whereYamara found out what the most outrageous (if not most dangerous) sort of monster is...

Real Life

  • You're taking an obviously large risk if you become a military embed. Hazards include IEDs, capture and torture, and getting shot. And having the CIA man you're trapped with take your communicator to call in an airstrike that turns many bad guys into giblets. No, seriously. Note that if you do have a non-null chance of being rescued or escaping, they'd sure-as-hell take it. Why kill yourself and the bad guys when you can just skip to killing the bad guys? You better hope that's a non-Elite warrior you're strapped to. Why? Because the elites know when they ain't going to be rescued and that it'd be better to die for your country and take out all those guys who captured you at the same time than it is to die a slow, painful, torturous death and leave the baddies alive. They'll call an airstrike on their own position. And doing the same thing unintentionally in the stress and confusion of battle is a sadly common phenomenon...
  • This played out exactly in real life with Current TV's intrepid reporters, Laura Ling (bonus points for the L.L. initials) and Euna Lee, who were pursuing the big scoop when they were taken prisoner by the evil Commie organization, North Korea. Now the US Government is scrambling to bring them home.
    • Lisa Ling once visited a prison in El Salvador working on a documentary about the notorious MS-13 gang and how they dominated the prison system down there. Interviewing one of the veteranos locked up and knowing herself, her crew, and the few prison guards brave enough to accompany her into the prison that was virtually under complete control of the gang, Lisa asked the gang member how she knew they would be kept safe and not possibly be taken hostage. The gang member basically smirked, and replied, "You don't."
  • A much sadder example: the attack on the World Trade Center on 9/11. Reporters and cameramen were going in CLOSER to the towers before they fell to get better shots.
  • Inverted with Herbert Morrison, a radio reporter who in 1937 went to file what he thought was just going to be a routine story about the first arrival of a new German airship in New Jersey and ended up seeing the Hindenburg crash barely a few dozen feet in front of him. His live coverage of the disaster (which is where most references to Oh, the Humanity! are coming from) switches rapidly from almost-bored matter-of-factness to pure shock to genuinely distraught horror in an instant, and is all the more affecting for it.