The counterpart to the Absurdly Powerful Student Council is an absurdly elaborate school paper with production values and writing quality that real commercial newspapers would envy. The activities of the Absurdly Powerful Student Council and other very popular students will be chronicled in minute detail by the school newspaper newshounds that staff the paper, all of whom have very serious aspirations to a career in Journalism. Quite often they will also report about events around the city or town that the story is set in. Major plot points will be revealed -- or distorted! --on the front page of the school newspaper. A few schools even have radio and/or television programs run by a "broadcasting club".
Real schools, particularly of the Elaborate University High type, sometimes have real newspapers of this level of quality, but they tend to report actual news or fluff pieces, rather than the sorts of gossip that find their way into anime school newspapers. For these reasons, the club is often a functional antagonist to the Absurdly Powerful Student Council.
Chances are good (in fiction) this student later gets a career as an Intrepid Reporter.
Tada Kanae from Heartcatch Precure goes on the same hunt however she only wants a picture of them, exposing them never comes up but she gives up over time. Her Monster of the Week turned people to stone with it's camera.
Tsutako and Minako from Maria-sama ga Miteru. Plus later on Minako's soeur Mami, HER soeur Hidemi, and Tsutako's "admirer" Shouko. It's a sprawling series.
The Broadcasting Club in Marmalade Boy. Specially Furutachi-sempai, who once seriously screws up by taking pics of Miki and Yuu's recently re-married parents. To his credit, he immediately regretted the mess he had caused and not only alerted the parents when Miki and Yuu were harassed by a Sadist Teacher, but managed to bring them to the school so they would give their own testimony, leading the parents to pull a Crowning Moment of Awesome where they pwn said teacher.
Raika Nario from Maburaho has a literal aiming sight on her camera and is intent on sniffing out juicy material.
Three of these characters are introduced in episode 29 of Keroro Gunsou, trying to investigate the aliens living with Fuyuki. and pay for it dearly
The club members are Tsukigami Chiryu, Yamaura Teimei, and the yet-to-be named camera man.
Nanami Jinnai from El Hazard isn't even in the broadcasting club, but she accompanies them in order to humiliate her older brother on live TV with (truthful) accusations of rigging the student council election.
Ouran High School Host Club had one of these purposely trying to dig up any dark secrets of the club, especially on Tamaki, making it seem more like a School Paparazzi Hound. Naturally for a school catering the stinkin' rich, it is extremely elaborate, despite its almost zero readership.
The school newspaper is straight-up called a gossip rag by Hikaru and Kaoru. The fact that despite being the son of the head of a famous newspaper the Newspaper Club's head doesn't dispute this fact (and during the episode that the newspaper is featured in is actively attempting to get information out of Haruhi that he can use to humiliate Tamaki) serves only to bolster this claim.
Maya from Tantei Gakuen Q's Boarding School case. Which almost gets her killed, since she didn't know that one of her tapes had vital info about the case...
The Ultimate Marvel version of Jessica Jones (who in the main Marvel Universe is a former reporter for the Daily Bugle) runs the school TV station at Peter Parker's high school. She knows Spidey is one of the other students, and is planning to track him down.
In Sweet Valley High, she writes a gossip column "Eyes and Ears" for the school newspaper The Oracle. Elizabeth's pursuit of a story often served as either a subplot or a lead-in to the main plot in several books.
In Sweet Valley Twins, she's in charge of the sixth-grade newspaper The Sixers.
In Sweet Valley University, she switches to TV and becomes an investigative reporter for WSVU, the campus station. She breaks several scandals that become on-going plot points in the series.
Live Action TV
Diff'rent Strokes: One of the best-known episodes of the series — and the template for the Very Special Episode — was the 1983 episode "The Reporter," where Arnold (Gary Coleman) writes a story about a drug deal made on school grounds. The principal, thinking the intended report was a fabrication (or at the very least, is unflattering), wants the story pulled ... until First Lady Nancy Reagan (in the midst of her "Just Say No" campaign) shows up to not only substantiate the story, but state that drug pushers are at work in schools across the nation.
Arnold continued to write for school newspapers throughout the rest of the series, and the occassional episode was dedicated to his developing journalism career. For instance, the last-aired episode of the series — "The Front Page," aired March 7, 1986 — saw Arnold go uncover to confirm suspicions that a popular athlete is using steroids.
Family Ties: Alex learns a tough lesson on journalism ethics in Season 1's "Big Brother is Watching," when he uncovers a cheating scandal involving his sister, Mallory, and most of the popular students/athletes. Despite an admonition by the adviser not to publish the story with the names, Alex feels obliged to do so ... and he loses his job as a result. Alex adamatly defends his stance, but Steven tells him that while he was correct in publishing an unflattering story, he was unfair by publishing the names of the students involved, none of whom had their due process yet.
The Brady Bunch: In Season 3's "The Power of the Press," Peter joins the Filmore Junior High newspaper staff and gains friends when he publishes their names in his column, "Scoop Brady." However, when Peter gets a poor grade on his science test (he had neglected to study), he decides to bargain for a better grade by writing a flattering article about the teacher (a gentleman nearing retirement age) ... the same teacher he and his fellow students had derided as being dull and using outdated teaching methods. Of course, the episode's moral is enforced fully: "Flattery will get you nowhere," and Peter's "D" on his science test stands.
Family Matters: In the fifth-season episode "Opposites Attract," Laura is the editor for the Muskrat Times (the Vanderbilt High School newspaper), and Urkel is a staff reporter.
Saved By the Bell: The New Class: Two episodes center around the school newspaper, the Bayside Breeze. "The People's Choice," from 1994, centers around new faculty adviser Screech's attempts to improve the paper, leading to student staff members to skip class to work on the paper. The 1998 episode "Do the Write Thing" centers on administrative censorship after Mr. Belding withholds publication of an article about student athletes getting preferential treatment for such things as discipline and assignments. (The original series had no newspaper-centered episodes, but did have one centering around the school's radio station, KKTY, which has a news program.)
Several Afterschool Special programs centering on censorship were set at a high school newspaper. The scenario usually saw the main protagonist (usually a self-assured high school senior girl who was the editor) uncover some major scandal or wrongdoing, or at the very least, write a story on a subject that paints the school in an unflattering light, the principal getting wind of the newspaper's plans, and efforts to stop the story from being publish kick into high gear. The editor will invariably stand his/her ground, and the battle eventually is brought before the school board, and if not resolved go to court. Almost always, the student editor comes out victorious, leaving the administration and/or student athletes to deal with the fallout.
Veronica Mars was on her high school newspaper staff as a photographer, and later did some actual journalizing herself. The school's television news program was a common sight. (This is not as unbelievable as it sounds; it's the only public school in a county filled with people who would be paying large metric buttloads of property and other taxes.) In college, she joined the newspaper, but didn't stay; the paper was hip-deep in the factionalization of the campus, and Veronica wanted no part.
Actually, Neptune is supposedly in California, which means the property taxes are probably very low and specifically there aren't any local property taxes at all. Of course, generous donations as tax write-offs makes just as much sense, so it's still believable.
She was editor-in-chief of her high school newspaper, her freshman year. Anyone who's been on a high school newspaper knows how ridiculous that is.
Ridiculous, yes, but justified by the way the Torch seems to be pariahville... it seems like literally no one except Chloe actually wants to be on the newspaper staff. She only has a staff in the sense that she can sometimes bully/guilt friends into contributing (the only other people we see working at the Torch just happen to be Clark and Pete, Chloe's two best friends, and Lois, her close cousin; so yeah, the only reason there's even that much of a staff is because Chloe basically drags her close friends into it). Such complete lack of interest in journalism in a school that size is itself rather difficult to credit, but it at least explains how a freshman got to be editor.
Similarly, the way the Torch seems to come out ridiculously often, as in at least once a week. And it seems to be at least eight pages long, if not more, each time- that involves writing 11-16 stories, editing those, photography (11-16 different, good pictures), layout, packaging, and printing. With only one consistent staff member. Over the course of a week. (For comparison, this troper's (national-award-winning) school newspaper has twelve staff members, is usually 16 or 20 pages, and takes up about eight-ten hours a week of our time- and we only publish once a month.)
Pretty much the entire cast of Press Gang, but particularly reporter Spike Thomson and features writer Sarah Jackson, fulfil this trope.
In an episode of 3rd Rock From The Sun, Tommy turned his school's newspaper into this, complete with allusions to Citizen Kane. In fact, the episode was titled "Citizen Solomon", despite this being the "B" plot.
Basically the entire premise of Gossip Girl, although a glitzy blog that's laid out a little too well takes the place of a school newspaper.
Richie Cunningham, in at least one Happy Days episode.
Robbie from Victorious turned The Slap (the school's networking blog site) into this, only instead of proper newshound he's a paparazzi journalist (his blogshow is titled Robarazzi).
Chantay from Degrassi runs her own blog called the Anti-Grapevine, which is about the gossip and news of the school. Earlier seasons had the Grapevine as the school's newspaper, with Ellie as an aspiring journalist. However Ellie never played this trope till she was at a college paper where that sort of dedication makes sense. Emma used the paper to push her liberal agenda.
Caitlin started out as this way back when, was never quite as good as it as she hoped to be back then but was able to make a successful career of broadcast journalism as an adult.
Harry Kim on Star Trek: Voyager claimed to have edited the newspaper of Starfleet Academy as a student, breaking the story of the Maquis rebellion and getting the faculty and the student body polarized and taking sides. He reveals this information to Neelix, spurring him to investigate the ongoing espionage and sabotage situation aboard Voyager. Neelix, the ship's cook, is then inspired to use his television program A Briefing With Neelix to do some Real Journalism, and Neelix, and ultimately plays an important role in the unmasking of spy Michael Jonas. Ah, the power of the media.
Glee seems to get into this trope occasionally, especially with the school new's coverage of the prom king/queen elections. Of course, this could just be more of Glee's typical over-the-top exaggerated style.
The school newspaper "Étudiants debout" (Stand up, students) in Radio Enfer both subvert it and play it straight (except for the production values which are treated rather realistically). It's main writer, Vincent Gélinas, uses to smear anyone he didn't like (or at least Accentuate the Negative), while screaming "It's a SCANDAL!!!", including the principal (which backfired spectacularely). In fact, in an aversion of this trope, the newspaper club's (of which Vincent soon becomes the only member thanks to his jerkassery) budget gets cut quite often when the principal has enough of his crap. In the later seasons, though, he's shown to be capable of being a competent journalism following his Character Development (unfortunately, the damage is already done and he always ends up being the only one reading his own newspaper).
Suzy in Paranatural is very enthusiastic about the Journalism Club and recruiting the new kid into it.
Shin in Sailor Nothing, she like both Ivan Bezdomnies has the issue of sitting on a huge story which involves magic and stuff almost no-one will believe. She's sitting on it and plans to a publish it as a book one day. In the end, she does, refusing to publish it as fiction despite her publisher's insistence.
Survival of the Fittest has Matt Wittany and Ken Lawson, the former of which has apparently interviewed just about everybody in Southridge High School at some point, including recluse Bobby Jacks.
More recently we've been introduced to Amber Whimsy, who's articles are infamous for regularly invading students' private lives, with some help from her best friend Paige Single. She's more of a subversion though, as none of her stories of this nature have ever made it to print.
Milly and Tamiya of Code Lyoko, to the point that they can report on pretty much whatever the hell they want (up to and including love dodecahedrons and embarassing childhood photos), and follow nearly everyone everywhere with their microphone and video camera. Curiously, despite this equipment, they have only a newspaper.
Angelica Pickles tries her hand at it as an All Grown Up! episode's subplot ("Chuckie's in Love").
Ditto with Taranee Cook and Irma Lair in "Stop the Presses" (W.I.T.C.H.).
In season two's episode "L is for Loser", the Grumper sisters join the school radio station (run by Irma) and go on the lookout for juicy gossip.
Hey Arnold!! "The Big Scoop" revolves around the going-ons at the school paper, and a rival offshoot. Note that the viewer doesn't notice its presence before or after.
In a few episodes of The Simpsons, Martin Prince has this role as a reporter for the "Daily Fourth Gradian".
Cow and Chicken episode "Dirty Laundry" featured The Red Guy being hired to manage the school's newspaper, which he turned into a tv network that showed fabricated scandals.
In 1982, the principal of Hazelwood High School removed two pages from the school newspaper that he found objectionable, two stories on teen pregnancy and teen marriage. The author of the stories brought him to court, and the case went all the way up to the SUPREME COURT. That's right, the highest court in the United States had to decide on the Free Press rights of a school newspaper. Guess they really are serious business.