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Going for the Big Scoop

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"This is great! I must really be onto something hot if they're trying to kill me!"
April O'Neil, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

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 Deadline News - 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.



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    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 rein to take even more crazy risks. Lampshaded in an episode from the DC Animated Universe. 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 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.
  • 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.
  • 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."

    Film — Animated 
  • 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.
  • 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.

    Film — Live-Action 
  • 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.
  • This was the role of Vicki Vale in Burton's Batman (1989). She did such things as taking 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...
  • In Die Hard 2, reporter Samantha Coleman helps John chase the villains making their getaway in her news helicopter. Yes, she is revealed as a genuinely nice lady who genuinely wants to help, but the fact she is getting a spectacular exclusive of McClane stopping the villains at some personal risk is some incentive too.
  • Godzilla (1998): Cameraman "Animal" Palotti reacts to Godzilla arriving in Manhattan by grabbing his camera and chasing after the monster even as his wife is screaming at him to come back and everyone else is running very fast in the opposite direction. He ends up being the first person to get close-up footage of the kaiju after almost getting stepped on.
  • The protagonist of Hellraiser III: Hell on Earth is Joey Summerskill, a reporter who sees her big break when she witnesses the effects of the Lament Configuration on a hospital patient and gets wrapped up Pinhead's plot.
  • The Night Flier: Richard Dees is a scummy tabloid report who continues to investigate a series of murders at country airports even when it seems increasingly likely that the killer is a monster of some sort. The vampire finally murders him after noting that coming face to face with a real monster is the culmination of Dees's existence.
  • Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window is stuck in his apartment with a broken leg because he is an intrepid photojournalist who got too close to the action and got injured as a result. He doesn't let that stop him from being an intrepid journalist during the rest of the film, as he spies on his neighbor and eventually develops the idea that the man may have murdered his wife.
  • Polly Perkins does this annoyingly often in Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004).
  • Superman Returns: Lois Lane. To the extent of bringing her four-year-old son to investigate a potentially dangerous lead, without telling anyone where she went.
  • Ned "Scotty" Scott in The Thing from Another World, who spends most of the movie wanting to send out a news story about the Thing and get a picture of it.
  • Under Fire: All three of the reporters in the movie, especially Russell, a photojournalist, are trying to track down Rafael, the leader of the rebels in the Nicaraguan Civil War. It turns out he's really dead, but Russell ends up faking a photo for the rebels to make it look as if he's really alive.
  • Whiskey Tango Foxtrot: All the reporters in the film are risking their lives for the big scoop.

  • The Color of Distance: Analin in Through Alien Eyes isn't totally reckless, but she's so accustomed to dangerous stories that as she prepares to investigate this one she has her belongings stored elsewhere, including pillows so they won't get slashed, and goes on the run. She's got a touch of satisfaction when she finds out she's being followed.
  • Discworld: In classic Intrepid Reporter tradition, William de Worde from The Truth 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.
  • Susan Rodriguez is like this in the first few The 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.
  • Star Wars Legends: 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.
  • In the Xandri Corelel novel Tone of Voice, three reporters sneak onto the planet Song to report on what was supposed to be a classified mission. They're quickly caught and placed into custody, but they still manage to sneak off by themselves, even going for a boat ride at one point. Their boat is surrounded by Disharmonies, who bite one of them in half before help can arrive. Later it turns out that they accidentally led the Last Hope for Humanity onto Song, resulting in a bloody battle to save the planet's inhabitants.

  • The War of the Worlds (1938) radio broadcast featured reporter Carl Phillips who paints a word picture for listeners of the strange cylinder that landed in Grovers Mill, New Jersey, the scary alien that creeps out of it, and the death ray that sweeps over the crowd and sets people on fire. His broadcast is suddenly cut off when he gets too close to the action.
    PHILLIPS: Now the whole field’s caught fire. (EXPLOSION) The woods . . . the barns . . . the gas tanks of automobiles . . . it’s spreading everywhere. It’s coming this way. About twenty yards to my right . . .
    ANNOUNCER: Ladies and gentlemen, due to circumstances beyond our control, we are unable to continue the broadcast from Grovers Mill. Evidently there’s some difficulty with our field transmission.
    ANNOUNCER TWO: Ladies and gentlemen, here is a bulletin from Trenton. It is a brief statement informing us that the charred body of Carl Phillips has been identified in a Trenton hospital.

  • LEGO:
    • Pippin Reed (also known as Gail Storm) from LEGO Adventurers, who traveled the world with Johnny Thunder and Dr. Kilroy, braving booby trap-filled temples and dodging criminals and thieves just to get a good story for World Magazine.
    • J. Theano from LEGO Dino Attack, a reporter from the WDNO radio news station who braves a mutant dinosaur apocalypse to provide the latest scoop on D.I.N.O. Attack's battle against the prehistoric threat. He retains this characterization in Dino Attack RPG, wherein he eagerly flies a news helicopter into heated dogfights between T-1 Typhoon helicopters and Mutant Pterosaurs during numerous battles, such as the battle for the power station (which, in itself, is a reference to Theano's appearance in the original toyline) and even the Final Battle.
    • LEGO Alien Conquest has Lotta Brix, who goes straight into the middle of an alien invasion to get the latest scoop. This leads to her abduction, of course, but she continues giving news reports even as she is brought aboard the mothership.

    Visual Novels 
  • Lotta Hart does it all the time in the Phoenix Wright: Ace Attorney 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, and makes one wonder how Lotta can still be making a living as a photographer.

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

    Western Animation 
  • Michael Collins' Girlfriend, Charlie of Ghost Force is a big fan of the titular team and will sometimes show up to record their battles for her blog. Coincidentally, she has a big crush on Krush (Mike's secret identity).
  • Alya from Miraculous Ladybug runs the Ladyblog, the main news source on everything related to the titular heroine, so she tries to get footage of every battle she can — which, of course, means putting herself in danger for the sake of her scoop. One time, she even kept filming while an akuma was kidnapping her, and tried to interview said akuma, to boot! Ladybug, who is great friends with Alya in her civilian identity, finds this thoroughly exasperating.
  • Lois Lane in the Golden Age Superman cartoon shorts. Always. She's not much different in the DC Animated Universe 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.
  • Ann Gora from SWAT Kats. She and her cameraman (kat?) are always dangerously close to the action, just to get their scoop.
  • April O'Neil in the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon and the comic that spun off of it. Vernon Fenwick also does this frequently, as he's usually trying to out-scoop April.

    Real Life 
  • 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 North Korea. Luckily, the US Government brought 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. Surprisingly, freelance photojournalist Bill Biggart was the only working journalist to be killed in the attacks, though six broadcast TV engineers were killed in the collapsing towers, and one photojournalist happened to be aboard American Airlines Flight 11.
  • Inverted with Herbert Morrison, a radio reporter who in 1937 went to file note  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. Minutes later, having taken a brief break and discovered survivors, he is almost back to normal.
  • Speaking of Badass Broadcasters, CNN's Anderson Cooper has a habit of a) hearing about some sort of disaster, war zone, or other crisis where people are dying, and b) getting on a plane to go there as soon as humanly possible. This man spends a lot of time running around in a bulletproof vest, and has spent the last two decades reporting from every major disaster area, civil uprising, flat-out war, or humanitarian crisis on the planet. He got his start in journalism by obtaining a faked press pass and sneaking into Burma to cover the civil revolution, for God's sake! He was also nearly decapitated by a flying street sign during Hurricane Katrina, reported from Baghdad with bombs exploding behind him, got punched repeatedly on the streets of Cairo, and at one point reported on the Egyptian revolution during the Arab Spring from an undisclosed location because he might be killed if anti-revolutionaries found out where he was.
  • Edward R. Murrow, although there were others, made sure he got on a London rooftop to cover the action of the Battle of Britain in World War II for his radio network even as the bombs were falling around him.
  • NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent Richard Engel has spent most of his life since the mid-90s living in the Middle East and spends even more time in a bulletproof vest than Anderson Cooper. Freshly graduated from Stanford, he took off for Cairo with nothing more than $2000 (not even a basic knowledge of Arabic!) and a yearning to "ride the train of history" in the very front seat. Since then he has repeatedly worked as a military embed, got himself into Iraq in 2002 under the Saddam regime (with questionable legality), and was the last American correspondent left in Baghdad for the duration of Operation Iraqi Freedom. He is, with excellent reason, widely considered the foremost expert journalist on Middle East affairs in all of the news business. Not without reason has he been called "NBC News’s widely recognized, highly respected, globe-trotting, bullet-dodging dreamboat."
    Rachel Maddow: One of the seams of our modern world runs through Iraq. That means that when our world starts to fall apart at the seams, it usually means that Iraq is one of the first places to start unraveling. And when that happens, one thing you can set your watch by is that NBC`s Richard Engel will be there in the middle of it so he can show the world what it looks like and sounds like from the middle of the unraveling.
  • Amid rising tensions and increasing demonstrations in East Berlin (and East Germany as a whole), Tom Brokaw proposed hosting NBC Nightly News in Berlin for a couple of days. His risk-taking paid off; he was possibly the first Western journalist to learn that East Germany was going to allow movement through the Berlin Wall and had unparalleled live coverage of the first East Germans to freely cross the wall into West Berlin in over 25 years.
  • Xuan Kejiong of Shanghai Media Group also has a level of notoriety as a tireless reporter chasing after the biggest disasters across the metropolis. There is even a saying that if you see him with a cameraman and a microphone, start running.
  • It's become something of a Memetic Mutation that if Jim Cantore of The Weather Channel shows up in your town, you'd better run for the hills because disaster is not far behind. The Weather Channel themselves have leaned into this joke, putting out an commercial in 2011 depicting Cantore on vacation, causing holidaygoers to flee.