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Intrepid Reporter

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Thatcher: Is that really your idea of how to run a newspaper?
Kane: I don't know how to run a newspaper, Mr. Thatcher, I just try everything I can think of.

An Intrepid Reporter is an investigative journalist who goes out and finds stories, rather than letting them come to them. Sometimes this seems to be the only kind of reporter used in fiction. A character's actual assignment might be something like "tell the readers who won the dog show," or "write a puff piece on our best advertiser," but something about the setup will inevitably spark a full-scale investigation.

This kind of reporter is also known, in fiction, for getting far more involved in their stories than is usually recommended for real journalists. There might be a brief mention of "objectivity" or warning against "getting too emotionally involved," but if there's a Corrupt Corporate Executive to bring down, secret villainy to expose, or a Distressed Damsel to rescue, the intrepid reporter will be right in there taking an active hand. Sometimes the term "muckraker" is used for this kind of journalist. Expect occasional examples of Off the Record information, whether or not they violate their journalistic ethics and reveal it.


Due to Hollywood Beauty Standards / Hired for Their Looks, this character also tends to be attractive In-Universe, and an object of desire for both the good and bad guys. Morally gray, and villainous adult examples may not be above offering Sex for Services. For the upstanding ones, part of their drive may be to prove that they're not just a Brainless Beauty that looks good on TV.

Expect a lot of speeches about "the Truth", "Freedom of the Press" and "the People have a right to know." Despite this, they're typically troublemakers. After all, the lure of that big scoop can lead to rushing into danger, trying to expose secrets the protagonists would rather not have public, or even fudging the facts to make a juicier story.

The teenage version of this is the School Newspaper News Hound. The Jerkass or Evil Counterpart is the Paparazzi, the Immoral Journalist (which is not necessarily the case for this reporter), or the Propaganda Machine churning out Public Relations Ads if it's a large organisation. If an intrepid reporter has no name, and/or is clearly snooping around somewhere they really shouldn't be, they are most likely Deadline News as well.


A popular character in action movies and cop shows, as it's a good way to introduce a civilian who has a plausible reason for repeatedly being In Harm's Way. It's also a great superhero secret identity to collect facts about crimes to thwart or fudge the facts when someone wants to expose the masquerade.

See also Da Editor and Going for the Big Scoop. Often wears a Press Hat.


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    Anime & Manga 
  • Goh "Rocky" Mutsugi from Area 88: Photojournalist on the battlefields of North Africa. Shot down while out taking pictures, rescued by a Bedouin Rescue Service but forced to fight the chief, wins the fight with a Barehanded Blade Block, then goes out with a bang by ramming a tank with a Jeep when the camp is attacked. Oh, and survived all that, though he did lose a hand.
    • Makoto Shinjou, an expy of Rocky in the Area 88 TV anime, also qualifies.
  • Black Magic M-66. Sybil faces extreme danger to get the story and even saves the scientist's granddaughter from the title robot.
  • Okamura from Blood+, going so far as to follow the main characters around the world for his story.
  • Aoi Hino from Cannon God Exaxxion. Lampshaded by the fact that the other, more level-headed members of the news team she's on think she's nuts. There's also her little sister Akane, who is determined to follow in her big sister's footsteps, but every attempt she makes to do so ends in disaster. Also subverts this trope by having another recurring news team who are much more realistic & down to Earth... who happen to be space aliens.
  • Diethard Reid from Code Geass starts out as a reporter getting information about Zero into the public, and then joins the Black Knights as apparently its PR officer.
  • The Funimation dub of Crayon Shin-chan has Bitzi, Mitzi's sister. She was a photographer who was often sent to third-world hell holes filled with political and military turmoil like Africa and Burma. Her experiences led to her being addicted to drugs. Her favorite in particular is Brown-Brown, a mixture of cocaine and gunpowder.
  • Magic User's Club features two reporters investigating the magical powers of the main character.
  • Subverted twice in Monster. When a journalist tries to help Dr. Tenma stop a murder, he ends up becoming one of the victims. Later on, we meet another journalist who seems to fit the bill... until we learn that his press pass is phony and that he's something else entirely.
  • In One Piece, a mysterious reporter called Absa has been exposing all sorts of juicy tidbits to the world since the Paramount War, such as the alliance between Eustace Kidd, Scratchmen Apoo, and Basil Hawkins. As a reader guessed in an SBS, it's Absalome, the invisible pervert from Thriller Bark.
  • In Remote, Ayaki's fiance Shingo quits his job to become a reporter. His idea of working is to use his girlfriend's presence at a particularly grisly murder scene to get a scoop. She is not best pleased.
  • Yoko of RideBack tries to be this, ignoring evacuation orders to try and get a scoop about the "Rideback Girl".
  • Bernard Chatelet from The Rose of Versailles, after he gets some Character Development. He was a Well-Intentioned Extremist with shades of Psycho for Hire beforehand, but his encounters with Oscar and André (and how it's because of him that André loses an eye) make him re-think his ways.
  • Tatsumi Saiga from Speed Grapher, a Retired Badass who was an ex-war photographer that now works as a freelancer for tabloids (much to his dismay) in a corrupt version of Japan. An interesting case, since it has been weaponized: thanks to his Euphoric powers, the focus of his pictures explode. This later is used to rescue Kagura Tennozu and eventually stop Tennozu Group that controls Japan.
  • In Tokyo Ghoul:
    • One of these ends up having played a major role in the background of the series. Yoshimura was a hitman for the organization V, and became involved with a human woman named Ukina. One day, he found a diary containing her notes and learned she was actually an undercover Investigative Reporter on the organization's trail. The couple had gotten involved without realizing the others' involvement.....but as punishment, they forced Yoshimura to kill Ukina to protect their secrets. He did so in order to buy the time to send their Half-Human Hybrid child to safety, leaving Eto with her mother's diary and all the secrets it contained.
    • Chie Hori has shades of this, though she's a freelance photographer and information broker rather than a professional reporter. Through her personal blog, she sells her photographs or trades in information, and has been known to do things like hack the CCG's databases or follow dangerous Ghouls and photograph their hunts in search of a good scoop. It ends up getting her in trouble on occasion, but she usually manages to outwit anyone that threatens her.
  • Zombie Land Saga: Arata Okoba starts investigating Franchouchou after getting a familiar feeling from "Number 4" aka the supposedly deceased Junko Konno. The Stinger of the season shows him fully aware of not only her looking identical to the long-dead Junko Konno, but "Number 3's" and "Number 6's" resemblances to the more recently deceased Ai Mizuno and Lily Hoshikawa. When he returns in Episode 6 of Revenge, he tries to dig up more dirt on the group by following Tae around. He succeeds in figuring out something is up after Sakura accidentally knocks off Tae's head. It's followed up on next episode where he very much realizes they're all dead.
  • Zombie Powder gives us the most unorthodox intrepid reporter in fiction, ever, in the form of Wolfgangina. Period. How unorthodox, you ask? Her tripod is a cannon. No, really.

    Comic Books 
  • Tintin is one of these, though you might have missed it if you haven't read the one volume where he actually gets around to filing a story.
  • In 1938, Action Comics #1 introduced Scoop Scanlon, crusading reporter, but he never took off. He was probably overshadowed by one of the other characters.
  • Superman: Clark Kent, Lois Lane and Jimmy Olsen fill this role at the Daily Planet in The DCU, and editor Perry White was one before he got promoted. In Kryptonite Nevermore, as soon as she hears about a band of crooks appropriating a Government facility, taking hostages and threatening with causing an environmental disaster if their demands are not met, Lois leaves to get the story. In Trinity (2008), not even gods battling and tearing down the landscape will keep her from getting the story.
  • For a short while in the early 70's Supergirl worked as a junior photographer and reporter for San Francisco news station KSF-TV.
  • Jimmy Olsen sometimes reminds the readers he's a photographer working for a world-famous newspaper and not only a weirdness magnet. In Bizarrogirl, Jimmy hurries up to search whatever is tearing up Metropolis so he can take pictures.
    Jimmy: And I'm gonna get closer to whatever's messing up downtown.
    Boy: What?! Why?
    Jimmy: So I can take a picture of it.
  • Billy Batson, the Golden Age Captain Marvel, was a cub reporter for a radio station.
  • Age of the Sentry parodies this by making The Sentry's alter ego Robert Reynolds an intrepid reporter... for an encyclopedia.
  • Astro City's Samaritan's civilian identity is as a fact-checker at the Astro City Rocket.
  • Also Irene Meriwether, who pursued news stories with almost as much determination as she pursued Atomicus.
  • Since it is an easy way to get a superhero into an adventure, ever since the Golden Age a lot of superheroes either worked as reporters themselves (like Superman) or had an intrepid reporter as a love interest (like Superman had Lois Lane) or close pal (like Superman had Jimmy Olsen). For example:
    • Iris West and Linda Park, journalist wives of the second and third Flashes respectively.
    • Also Vicki Vale, Batman's love interest in the '50s and the Tim Burton movie. She still makes occasional cameos in The DCU as a TV news anchor but is no longer associated with Batman.
      • As of Battle For The Cowl, she's back on the Gotham Gazette and back to trying to deduce Batman's secret identity. And she's succeeded.
    • Radio reporter Libby Belle Lawrence became the Golden Age Liberty Belle in the winter of 1942/43.
    • In the Marvel Universe, both the Daily Bugle's publisher, J. Jonah Jameson, and its editor-in-chief Joe Robertson had aspects of this. As did a number of the paper's journalists, including photographer Peter Parker alias Spider-Man. Also Peter's former romantic rival Ned Leeds and his widow, Betty Brant.
    • Ben Urich, formerly of the Daily Bugle, now of Frontline. His first story involved him deducing Daredevil's secret identity.
      • Likewise, his partner Sally Floyd. (Being "intrepid" does not necessarily mean you're good at your job.)
      • During his time on The Pulse, the Bugle's superhero supplement, Ben also worked with Jessica Jones and Terri Kidder. Kidder showed the dangers of being an intrepid reporter; her obsession with superhero stories got her killed.
    • In her first solo series as Ms. Marvel, Carol Danvers was editor of Jameson's magazine Woman.
    • The Beast's one-time girlfriend, television reporter Trish Tilby.
    • In The New Universe series Psi-Force, reporter Andrew Chaser befriended member Tyrone Jessup and eventually wrote a book about the team.
    • The Golden Age Black Cat (Linda Turner) had an admirer in reporter Rick Horne.
    • In a slight subversion, Owl Girl, the sidekick of the Dell Comics Golden Age hero The Owl, was gossip columnist Belle Wayne.
    • The Golden Age Blue Beetle's girlfriend was a reporter; she even appeared in one solo story as Joan Mason, Girl Reporter in 1945.
  • Spider Jerusalem from Transmetropolitan, who brings down an entire government with his stories. He's not even the only one in the setting; any reporters not being actually paid to spout government propaganda are willing to take swings at them.
  • The classic newspaper comic strip Brenda Starr has its titular character in this role. Also, a frequent Distressed Damsel.
  • Vic Sage a.k.a. The Question.
  • Robin (1993): Alexandra Brackett is a reporter who first meets Robin while she's working on a story that has multiple factions trying to kill her to get her to stop investigating. She does not stop, and actually manages to uncover the corruption and murder Strader Pharmaceuticals is trying to hide.
  • Savoy from The Unwritten an Intrepid Reporter of the blogger variety. His modus operandi is infiltrating prisons to get the inside scoop on fresh detainees.
  • Spirou and Fantasio are technically reporters, and they're definitely intrepid. Unlike Tintin, they can even be seen doing actual reporting once in a while.
  • Uptown Girl is a Minneapolis-based reporter for the City Pages (in Real Life, a weekly paper) who gets involved in many weird cases. In issue #18, her friend Rocketman lampshades her habit of charging ahead to solve the problem of the day without sensibly calling the police to deal with it.
  • Paperinik New Adventures has three.
    • The first is Stephan Vladuck/Camera 9, an intrepid reporter capable of discovering everything (in the story he has discovered the existence of the Time Police, including that Lyla works for them, and what the Ducklair Tower really is. Luckily he's keeping the secret) before the advent of the show-news forced him to find a job as cameraman for Channel 00.
    • The second is Mike M. Morrighan, a sleazy reporter who still has discovered evidence of the Evronian threat (and only failed to reveal it because the US Army discovered the tape he had mailed to himself to prevent confiscation and swapped it with a bad cartoon).
    • Then we have Angus Fangus: in spite of being (in)famous for his unjustified rants against our protagonist, the fact his favourite target is called Paperinik the Devilish Avenger for a good reason (and still continuing after having been at the receiving end of his humiliating revenges at least twice), his ongoing attempts at bringing to justice a Corrupt Corporate Executive (that's why he left New Zealand), his backstory including foiling a traffic of thermonuclear weapons and many other brave (and ridiculous. He had already saw everything when he had been kidnapped by a Mad Scientist who wanted to Take Over the World) feats of his make him one.
    • Lyla Lay is a subversion. She is certainly intrepid and a reporter, but journalism is actually a side-gig. Her main job is being an undercover agent for the Time police, and she moonlights as a superhero, which means that she ends up covering up more information than she reveals.
  • Cassandra in The Wicked + The Divine is this. She starts out wanting to prove that the gods are frauds and their miracles are just tricks, and soon after switches gears to finding out who killed the judge. This involves her going against her better judgement since interfering with all-powerful Physical Gods is probably the most dangerous thing she's ever done, but the potential scoop can't be ignored.
  • Doff and Upsher, reporters from Saga, are investigating the rumor that two soldiers from opposing armies managed to have a child together. They're seemingly the only reporters in the galaxy to take this (entirely true) rumor seriously and manage to score an interview with one of the soldiers' commanding officers in the middle of an active war zone. Note that Doff and Upsher are tabloid reporters.
  • The Black Order Brigade has the German left-wing journalist Lotte, who serves as an informer to the protagonists of the story on the whereabouts of their opponents. She apparently got this information from a young fascist, "that kind of asshole I even had to get to bed with to spill information". That statement has "Intrepid" written all over it. Later, the "Viking Jugend" gets back at her by mowing her down with a machine gun.
  • May Tao of Revival achieves national fame when her interview with a morgue tech turns into video of a corpse returning to life. She aggressively pursues more stories but is unable or unwilling to print the results, never managing further journalistic success.
  • Chloe Pierce of Clean Room is ostensibly a reporter, though after her introduction she devotes all of her time to investigating the Mueller organization and seems to have abandoned her actual job.
  • Wonder Woman:
    • Sensation Comics: Selldom Wright nearly gets himself killed while following leads to write a follow up of his story on the Blue Seal Gang. It doesn't help that he discredits Wonder Woman's attempted help as he doesn't want to take women seriously.
    • Wonder Woman (1987): Cassie Arnold shows what a reporter like this could be without scruples; the reason she's there at the scene of so many crimes and fights before the police even show up is that she's dating the super-villain who is secretly orchestrating it all and is helping him maintain his public persona as a hero in exchange for juicy stories in which lives are lost.
  • Chlorophylle has the titular character and Minimum in "Zizanion Le Terrible". Zizanion exploits it by phoning their newspaper with a bomb threat.

    Fan Works 
  • Konrad Tschida from Broken Souls, who was looking into a multi-national Government Conspiracy before his death.
  • Anton Pouncehart from Three Months a Fox, and by extension the rest of his reporting pack at Pouncehart Media.
  • Scott Summers in X-Men 1970 is hired as newscaster for WESR, Empire State Radio.
  • The Secret Return of Alex Mack: To an outsider, this appears to be the career Alex is heading for. She's apparently run into a shootout to get the first decent footage of Terawatt, filmed at least two of Terawatt's later battles, and produced some of the best footage of the Davenport Building cleanup. She even has a Pulitzer prize.

    Films — Live-Action 
  • The classic example: All versions of The Front Page, namely the 1931 version, the 1974 version, and the 1941 version titled His Girl Friday. All of them feature Hildy Johnson as an Intrepid Reporter who wants to leave the business to get married but is pulled back in by a sensational story involving an escaped murderer.
    • Christy Colleran and John L. Sullivan IV in Switching Channels are the TV version in this loose remake (Colleran is the Hildy Johnson character).
  • ''Human Cargo (1936): Patrick "Packy" Campbell and Bonnie Brewster are reporters who team up to expose a ring of human smugglers.
  • This trope dates at least as far back as 1928 and The Power of the Press, in which a very young Douglas Fairbanks Jr. plays a cub reporter who finds himself investigating a murder mystery and a corrupt mayoral candidate.
  • Nick Nolte and Julia Roberts play two competing protagonists who both fit this trope in I Love Trouble.
  • Parodied by the character Margo in Big Trouble in Little China. She desperately wants to be an intrepid reporter but just doesn't have what it takes.
  • Torchy Blane, the character who inspired Lois Lane, from the Torchy series of nine 1930s films. Played (primarily) by Glenda Farrell, who studied real female news professionals to make her portrayal true to life.
  • Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow (2004). Polly Perkins, who isn't above sabotaging Sky Captain's plane to get a scoop, causing him to spend six months in a Manchurian death camp.
  • Ernie Souchak in Continental Divide, as portrayed by John Belushi. Judging by his vendetta against a Sleazy Politician, his tendency to pursue a story beyond what might be considered prudent or safe, and the snarky tone of his writing, he was likely based on real-life Chicago columnist Mike Royko.
  • The Day the Earth Caught Fire (1961) is an apocalypse movie seen through the eyes of newspaper journalists working for the Daily Express. The protagonist is relegated to cub reporter duties because of his ongoing alcoholism, but he nevertheless digs up the story that the government is trying to suppress — that simultaneous nuclear tests have upset the tilt of the Earth. The ludicrous scientific premise is offset by the reality-based view of a newspaper at work, and it is rightly regarded as a classic sci-fi movie in Britain.
  • Jerry Thompson, the reporter who tries to find out the meaning of "rosebud" in Citizen Kane. And Kane himself during his younger years.
  • Mariana in Man on Fire. Not only is she a reporter, but she is also romantically involved with a police inspector. Her actions in the film go far beyond those recommended for a reporter who intends to live through the day without being killed by those she exposes.
  • Veronica Quaife in The Fly (1986) is a journalist for a science magazine who, in the opening scenes, takes up the offer of awkward scientist Seth Brundle to visit his lab to see "something that will change the world and life as we know it" — which turns out to be a teleportation device. They end up working out a deal for her to exclusively chronicle his refinement of the device for a book, and from there become romantically involved; unfortunately her editor/ex-lover tries to meddle with this by threatening to break the story first, and when the scientist misunderstands that relationship, it sets the stage for a most Tragic Mistake on his part...
  • Johnny Jones, Alfred Hitchcock's titular Foreign Correspondent.
  • Amy Archer in The Hudsucker Proxy is the reporter who gets close to the hero by pretending to be a woman from his home town, and getting a job as his secretary so she can write stories about him. However, she ends up falling in love with him.
  • Robert Caulfield, Elliott Gould's character in Capricorn One. He uncovers the Government Conspiracy when his friend at NASA is Killed to Uphold the Masquerade.
  • Woodward and Bernstein's characters (played by Will Ferrell and Bruce McCulloch) in the movie Dick were referred to by Richard Nixon (Dan Hedaya) as "liberal muckraking bastards". Also parodied, in that they're really just egocentric doofuses who kind of get lucky.
  • Matilda Jeffries in Zoolander is a humorous example, and somewhat lampshaded by Derek when he tries to confront her.
  • Billy Wilder's Ace in the Hole features Chuck Tatum, an intrepid reporter who's a Manipulative Bastard; he doesn't just go after the news, he creates them. When he hears about a man trapped in a collapsed cave, he deliberately prolongs his rescue by manipulating the local authorities, just so he can report on it.
  • In Shattered Glass, Stephen Glass views himself as an intrepid reporter and would love nothing more than for everyone else to think of him as one as well. He's nothing of the kind. However, Adam Penenberg, the journalist who exposed Glass, very much is. Chuck Lane is another genuine example, his thorough investigation of the story Penenberg pokes holes in is what ultimately brings Stephen down.
  • Kimberly Wells and Richard Adams of The China Syndrome; Kimberly starts out as a reporter of lifestyle stories (Richard is more of a straight example of this trope), until they both witness the accident at the nuclear power plant, at which point she gradually becomes a straight example of this trope.
  • Henry Hackett in The Paper is an intrepid editor, while McDougal is an intrepid columnist. Henry's wife Martha is the more conventional example of this trope.
  • One of the most amazing scenes in We Were Soldiers is when war correspondent Joe Galloway voluntarily jumps aboard a helicopter which is taking soldiers into a combat zone where they are likely to be wiped out in short order. During the next day's fighting, Galloway tries to take photographs in the middle of a hail of bullets, after which Sgt. Plumley hands him an M-16 and warns him that there is "no such thing" as a non-combatant under the circumstances. This actually happened in real life. note 
    Joe Galloway: You got room for one more?
    "Snakeshitt" Crandall: If you're crazy enough, hop in.
    • In contrast, a myriad of reporters show up after the fighting is over and try to conduct interviews. No one gives them the time of day.
  • Judge Dredd. Reporter Vartis Hammond is trying to find the reason for the rise in street crime. He discovers the existence of the Janus Project and is murdered in order to keep the secret.
  • In the various Superman films, including the serial, Clark Kent, Lois Lane and sometimes Jimmy Olsen reprise their comic book counterparts' intrepidness.
  • Lolly Parsons in The Cat's Meow, who uncovers the truth regarding Ince's death, and who assures Hearst his secret will be safe in exchange for a lifetime contract with the Hearst Corporation, thus laying the groundwork for her lengthy career as one of Hollywood's most powerful gossip columnists.
  • In Sharktopus, Stacy actively seeks out the Sharktopus so she can cover the story. Her insistence to get up close and personal with the monster eventually gets both her and her cameraman killed.
  • In Bad Words, Jenny Widgeon, who helps the protagonist get into a kid's spelling bee specifically because she'd get a story out of it.
  • In Roman Holiday, the male lead is a news reporter trying to get the big story.
  • Chris in Pay It Forward smells a big story when hearing about the concept of paying it forward. He interviews several people and travels from L.A. to Las Vegas in order to get to the bottom of that movement.
  • Runaway: This is taken to such extremes in this movie that it seems like the news media has the right to barge onto crime scenes and actively impede police operations. A local reporter keeps demanding that she be allowed firstline coverage of every incident involving a Killer Robot, and her cameraman follows Sgt. Ramsay inside a house where a robot is keeping a baby captive. None of the other police officers make an effort to stop them.
  • In The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1, Cressida and her crew of filmmakers defect from the Capitol to document and show what is happening in the rebellion.
  • In Die Hard 2, Richard ‘Dick’ Thornburg is as reckless a Jerkass as ever, Samantha Coleman is a refreshing change of pace. Although she initially annoys McClane with her questions, she helps John chase the villains in her news helicopter. The fact she is getting a spectacular exclusive of McClane stopping Colonel Stuart doesn't hurt either as something she legitimately earned.
  • The Night Flier: Richard Dees is the main reporter for a Lurid Tales of Doom-type magazine who uses a lot of dirty tactics to get stories, often breaking laws to investigate crime scenes. He's not above screwing his colleague over either. His sole motivation throughout the movie is to get his name back on the front cover.
  • Alligator has Thomas Kemp, an obnoxious tabloid reporter whom policeman-protagonist David Madison heartily dislikes, but ends up being the one to prove that Madison's story about a giant killer alligator lurking in the sewers is true, at the cost of his own life.
  • Kong: Skull Island: Mason Weaver is an investigative "anti-war" photographer who gets down in the trenches of dangerous places when there's a story worth telling and truths to expose. She catches wind of a mission to Skull Island after 3 sources tell her the same thing about it. Sensing there is more to it than she's being told, she maneuvers her way onto the expedition team with the intention of exposing the secret operation she believes is taking place under the guise of a geological mapping mission. Though her Vietnam photos are already good enough to be considered for the cover of Time Magazine, she doesn't mind the idea of more awards and notoriety. It doesn't take long for everyone to realize that her instincts were spot on.
  • In The Case For Christ, Lee Strobel is a reporter with the Chicago Tribune who tries to disprove the resurrection of Jesus by investigating the historical evidence, but it's personal, not a job assignment.
  • Cloud Atlas: Luisa Rey.
  • Florence in Mystery of the Wax Museum, who proceeds headfirst into danger to get a story; ignoring the advice of her editor, her best friend, and the police.
  • In Defence of the Realm, after a story breaks about Dennis Markham, an MP, having an affair with a call girl who also supposedly had sex with a KGB agent, Vernon, Markham's friend, becomes this when he's convinced there's more to the story. Later, Vernon's colleague at the paper, Nick, who originally chased that story but starts to have second thoughts, becomes this as well when he decides to dig deeper. It doesn't end well for either of them.
  • The Fighting Seabees: Constance is a correspondent who doesn't shy away from visiting war zones.
  • The Lennon Report, showing what the trauma team who worked on John Lennon says really did happen on December 8, 1980, includes WABC's Alan Weiss as one of these. A hit and run accident on his motorcycle landed him in Roosevelt Hospital with a shattered hip — right outside Lennon's room in the ED. He spends the entire film trying to confirm that it's Lennon in there and get word to his assignment editor — at one point dragging himself down the hall to get to a phone. Weiss confirms this all really happened and there were moments when the film felt like a documentary.
  • In State Of Siege, Carlos Ducas is one of the reporters who figures out Philip Michael Santore's actual relationship with the government, and his real duties. He's also rather skeptical of what the government says about Santore's kidnapping, and interviews all sides about it.
  • The Parallax View: Frady and Carter are both investigative journalists who willingly go to any lengths in uncovering the truth, even at great personal risk. Unfortunately, both get killed for it.
  • Under Fire: All three of the main characters fit this trope - Russell, a photojournalist, Alex, a TV reporter (later anchor), and Claire, a radio reporter, and we see other examples as well throughout the course of the movie.
  • Gale Weathers in the Scream films starts out as the host of a sleazy tabloid news program in the vein of Hard Copy, with all the attendant jerkass paparazzi attitude, but as the series goes on, it becomes clear that she is, in fact, a legitimate journalist, even if her motives are rather self-serving. Her True Crime book Wrongly Accused: The Maureen Prescott Murder, about the murder case one year prior that hangs over the events of the first film, turns out to have been correct in its central thesis that the man convicted for the murder, Cotton Weary, didn't actually do it and that the real killer is still out there, and she helps capture the real killer once people start dying again. In the second film, she's considered the definitive authority on the first film's killing spree thanks to both her first-hand experience and her book The Woodsboro Murders, which gets adapted into a movie called Stab. If what we see of Stab is any indication, however, it's clear that she got a few things wrong or took some Artistic License; she later admits that she embellished how brutal at least one of the deaths really was.
  • In Shark Week, Reagan is an investigative journlaist whose exposé on Tiburon's son led to his bungled arrest and death. This is an Informed Ability, however, as we only see her as a captive on the island.
  • 'Scoop' Foley in The Man They Could Not Hang. He is johnny-on-the-spot when Dr. Savaard is arrested for murder, arriving at his house even before the police arrive; is the first to work out that someone is murdering the jurors from Savaard's trial; and even forces his way into the Nasty Party where Savaard is planning to eliminate the remaining people he feels wronged him.

  • Evelyn Waugh:
    • Scoop features Henry Boot placed, unwillingly and ill-equipped, in this role, plus a number of variations on the theme as supporting characters.
    • Unconditional Surrender contains numerous variations ranging from Ian Klibannock to the absurd Sneifetz in Jugoslavia — all wholly untrustworthy.
  • Larry Niven's Draco Tavern series includes Mark Taper, who is pretty much this. The name "Taper" is itself a Shout-Out to the use of the term "taper" to denote a roving news cameraman in some of Niven's earlier stories.
  • Cameron "Buck" Williams of the Global Weekly magazine in Left Behind. He's something of a subversion of the trope, as when he discovers evidence of a murderous global conspiracy, Buck makes a Deal with the Devil to quash the story in exchange for his personal safety.
    • Humorously enough, this doesn't appear to be intentional. Not only that, but he also ignores the biggest story ever in the process.
  • Stephanie Kovacs in the Babylon Rising series. She is quickly promoted to Dark Mistress of the Corrupt Corporate Executive who is trying to discredit the hero.
  • The Harry Potter books have an antagonist version of the intrepid reporter in the person of Rita Skeeter of the Daily Prophet. She doesn't let the facts get in the way of a juicy story, going beyond merely ignoring what interviewees actually tell her to actually putting words in their mouths. She's also not above stealing from old ladies.
  • William De Worde and his Girl Friday, Sacharissa Cripslock, fill this role in several Discworld novels, starting with The Truth. As the only news reporters in one of the most newsworthy cities in the world, they keep very busy.
  • Susan Rodriguez of The Dresden Files (book version). Unfortunately, her intrepidness led to lasting physical harm for her.
  • Bill and Chris, in Jane Lindskold's Athanor series, are led by an anonymous tipster to investigate a mysterious philanthropist going by "Arthur Pendragon." Once they realize just how big of a secret they've stumbled onto, though, they decide to change careers.
  • Gregory McDonald's Irwin Maurice "Fletch" Fletcher is a giant of Intrepid Reporterdom.
  • Kitty Norville is an Intrepid Radio Talk Show Host who frequently tracks down her own stories and can get way too physically involved in them.
  • Michael Liberty from the Starcraft novel "Liberty's Crusade" begins the novel in serious trouble — i.e., corrupt politician and mob bosses potentially assassinating him trouble — over his exposés on Confederate politics, which gets him sent out to the Colonies. His attempts to discover the truth don't stop there, of course, and almost get him killed at Anthem Base before he decides to tag along with the Sons of Korhal.
  • In Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas: Raoul Duke was with his attorney Dr.Gonzo (who may have been Samoan) to cover the Mint 400 motorcycle race. However, upon arriving in Vegas Duke and his attorney Dr.Gonzo (who may have been Samoan) found it to be imperative to get to the bottom of the American dream by any means necessary. (Including fraud, forgery, liberal drug consumption, and bribing maids to act as moles for hotel drug cartels)
  • Rock in G. K. Chesterton's "The Scandal of Father Brown". Unfortunately, he has a few blind spots, resulting in his Malicious Slander of Father Brown, until the priest clears up a few issues.
  • Sam Holt: Sam's friend Terry Young, who is eager to tackle murder investigations aimed at prominent figures, and who Sam consults both before and after Terry becomes a suspect in his second case.
  • Jack Parlabane from Quite Ugly One Morning, Country of the Blind, Boiling a Frog, Be My Enemy and The Attack of The Unsinkable Rubber Ducks, all by Christopher Brookmyre.
  • Joe Buckley from 1634: The Galileo Affair finds himself to be the only trained journalist in an era dominated by propagandists, and sets out to Venice to find good stories. He's implied to actually be pretty good. Unfortunately, his name is Joe Buckley, and he's in a Baen book. He gets killed by Michel Ducos after getting too close to said villain's real plot.
  • Digby Driver in The Plague Dogs is an antagonistic (and downright evil) example. He uses underhanded means to get info, falsifies it when it suits him, spreads panic, and gets the army sent after the protagonists.
  • All the main characters in the Newsflesh trilogy. This is basically the only way to gather news after a Zombie Apocalypse.
    • Even in the trilogy, narrator Georgia Mason deserves special mention. She literally values the truth more than her own life.
  • In Death: Nadine Furst, very much. It almost gets her killed in Glory In Death, the second book in the series, thanks to a murderer with an envious grudge against women in the limelight.
  • Documentarian Hallis Saper in Starfighters of Adumar fits into this role, especially as the story progresses. She does have a background in "sludgenews" (and learned several of her sneakier techniques from that time), but her strong sense of ethics directed her toward a more legitimate journalism career.
  • In Rachel Griffin, Valerie Foxx ("Fearless girl reporter!") is a teenaged version of this, camera included. Also a School Newspaper News Hound—as cover for investigating a murder attempt on herself.
  • Charles Enderby from Agatha Christie's The Sittaford Mystery is the only journalist who managed to crop out an interview with the dead man's best friend, and later comes to the titular village where the dead man came from to investigate the case further, alongside fellow Amateur Sleuth Emily Trefusis.
  • Whodunit Mysteries has Joshua Cole, who often has to go out and search for new information about news stories that have already been reported on, which more often than not, leads to him needing to solve some mysteries for himself.
  • In the Zeroes series, Sonia Sonic is a local blogger who skyrocketed to fame when she took video of Scam using his superpower during a bank robbery, and who has been investigating the activities of Zeroes ever since.
  • Doremus Jessup of It Can't Happen Here is an Intrepid Editor, publicizing the abuses of America's new fascist government and writing very frank opinion columns about the direction the country is going in. Not surprisingly, he ends up paying a price for this.
  • Heather Stone, the main character of Newshound, is one of these. Given that much of the story focuses on the operations of a daily newspaper, it's not surprising that most of the extended cast also qualifies.
  • Smaller & Smaller Circles has Joanna Bonifacio, who (with good reason) not only seems to delight in exposing Attorney Arcinas' gaffes but also chases after the priests' investigation, even lending a hand with her connections, in order to grab onto a good story for her news show. This being the Philippines, however, working in media is an especially dangerous job—her father ends up dying when he went out investigating one night and never came back.
  • Will Farnaby, the viewpoint character of Island, usually covers war-zones and tragedies. He's somewhat sceptical of the Perfect Pacifist People he found himself among, constantly trying to find cracks in their perfection.
  • Isabel from The Little Coffee Shop Of Kabul is determined to go to the most dangerous parts of the world to expose the biggest stories.
  • Kate Reed, in several stories by Kim Newman, is an intrepid reporter in Victorian London. She debuted in Anno Dracula, where she gets involved in the hunt for Jack the Ripper. In "The Gypsies in the Wood", she's sent to cover the opening of a faerie-themed children's attraction and gets involved in rescuing a child abducted by actual fairies. In Seven Stars, she gets involved in the search for a missing mummy that may or may not be carrying the Curse of the Pharaoh.
  • Flawed: Lisa Life is an underground reporter who writes articles meant to garner support for Celestine, dedicated to reporting the truth and unafraid of Craven's influence over the media. Lisa Life is actually Pia, the reporter assigned to interview the Flawed, deciding to help Celestine while not getting caught by Craven.
  • Star Wars Legends:
    • In Jedi Apprentice, Keets Freely tried to expose Palpatine's corrupt ties to the Separatist during the Clone Wars, causing a bounty to be placed on his head after the Empire was established.
    • Den Dhur, from the Medstar and Coruscant Nights novels was a war correspondent unafraid to get into the thick of things and later a Rebel against the empire.
  • Mystery writer Michael Connelly has written three mystery novels focusing on Jack McEvoy, a crime reporter who usually finds himself wrapped up in murder investigations. In The Poet, The Scarecrow, and Fair Warning, Jack finds himself chasing killers while simultaneously battling uncooperative cops and FBI agents as well as his own editors and other reporters trying to horn in on his stories.
  • Pindakaas en Sushi: Marle, who ends up searching the convention to find the mysterious knight who showed her around.
  • Ellie in Daddy's Little Girl is a journalist who thoroughly investigates every nook and cranny of her stories before sending them to a publisher. She is currently working on a book about the murder of her sister Andrea, wanting to prove definitively that Rob Westerfield - who she helped convict as a child - killed her.

    Live-Action TV 


  • Jim Kyle, the protagonist of the dystopian BBC series 1990, is one of these and a reporter for one of the last 'free' presses in the U.K. and does what he can through the newspaper (as wrapped up in red tape as that press is), but it also comes in handy in that his press card and status as a reporter gives him a way to talk to people who are in trouble with the Public Control Department so he can help them without arousing suspicion.
  • The Adventures of Slim Goodbody: Despite working in law enforcement, Agent B-12 has shades of this, often holding a microphone and explaining the situation to Body Control as if she were a news reporter. Since her main (but not only) role seems to be gathering information for headquarters, this is plausible.
  • Played semi-straight in Alias in the first season, the character of Will Tippen is a reporter, idealistic and thus easily manipulated into a situation that is far over his head.
  • The Andromeda Strain: Nash is a reporter dedicated to uncovering the Government Conspiracy behind Andromeda, despite knowing he's putting his life in danger in the process as both the government and military try to have him assassinated.
  • Beforeigners: Deconstructed. Othilia Winter is a highly skilled investigative journalist, but she hasn't been able to adapt to 21st century reporting standards, meaning that her work is sensationalist and slanted to the point that only the sleaziest taabloids will print it. The villains take full advantage, and feed Othilia bits of information knowing full well she will rile people up and draw attention way from what they're trying to do.
  • Word of God says that part of Stephen Colbert's persona on The Colbert Report is mistakenly thinking he's an intrepid reporter and was inspired by TV journalists who act like they're breaking Watergate every time they do a "hard-hitting" exposé on playground violence or what have you. He specifically cited Geraldo Rivera as somebody who seems to believe "that he really is changing the world with every interview he does."
  • The Victim of the Week in the Cold Case episode "Breaking News". Determined to get out of reporting "fluff" pieces, she stumbled upon corporate corruption and was murdered by a fellow reporter who'd been taking payments to keep the story quiet.
  • Parodied in Community, where Britta attempts to be a gritty war-time (read: pillow fight) photographer. She sucks at it.
  • Mac Taylor's stepson Reed Garrett is a 21st-century version of this, an internet blogger, on CSI: NY. Reed inherited his mother's headstrong, stubborn streak and used to push Mac a lot for info on cases. Mac told him that he would give him what he legally and ethically could, but couldn't treat him specially. Reed kept getting close to the action, and eventually got himself kidnapped by a killer Mac and the team were trying to catch. He left clues in the blog posts he was forced to make for Mac to find him but was left with a slit throat and a permanent scar. He's a bit wiser later on, still coming to Mac a few times when he found trouble, but not putting himself in as much danger and accepting whatever info Mac could give.
  • Ben Urich in Daredevil (2015) chums it up with retired mobsters, and works with Karen Page to expose Wilson Fisk through the media. He's a more cynical version, warning Karen to exercise caution in going up against Fisk. After Fisk kills Urich, Karen assumes this role for season 2 to dig into Frank Castle's past with the backing of Ben's editor Mitchell Ellison.
  • Doctor Who:
    • Sarah Jane Smith started out this way but rapidly became more interested in saving the planet.
      • On her own spinoff show, Sarah Jane has returned to being a journalist, though she is far more interested in defending the Earth from aliens than getting a scoop. Luckily, the two tend to go hand-in-hand. Still, her job is usually just a device to get the plot of the week rolling.
    • "Partners in Crime": Penny Carter, science correspondent for the Observer, wants to know the secret behind Adipose Industries' diet pills enough to sneak into the building on two occasions. She ends up captured and tied up twice for her trouble, the second time after ignoring the Doctor's advice to leave. She ends up having to take the chair with her to get out after the second time.
  • Özge Egeli in Fi. Even after getting fired from her magazine, she never lets up her pursuit of Can Manay's darkest secrets.
  • Ghostwriter: Fannie Mae Banner. She hosts a news show called Caught Ya where she helps regular people with their problems by finding and exposing anyone who's been caught doing something wrong, like corrupt landlords, stores overcharging customers, or people burying toxic waste.
  • In Hannah Montana, Miley constantly lives under threat of these people. This has resulted in a minor recurring character, an annoying Paparazzi guy that is apparently desperate enough for a picture that he actually FOLLOWS HER HOME after a concert. In The Movie, another reporter hears Miley talking about her secret (that she is Hannah Montana) and becomes desperate to find out what the secret is. When he finally finds out and snaps a picture, his daughters make him change his mind.
  • Hannibal gives us crime blogger Freddie Lounds (a Gender Flip of the tabloid reporter character from Red Dragon), who is certainly one of the more antagonistic characters on that show. She's a headstrong, intelligent and self-motivated writer, but her tactics often veer into the flat-out illegal: in her first appearance alone, she lies to the police, publishes details on an ongoing murder investigation, and spies on psychiatric sessions. She's also determined to paint Will Graham (admittedly a very unstable criminal profiler) as an insane, psychopathic would-be killer.
  • Randi McFarland in season 1 of Highlander. The original version of her who paid Richie to follow Duncan in the pilot was cut but she kept following him in later episodes. She was determined to find out his secret and why he was always involved in trouble. Once, it got her kidnapped. She was dropped after season 1 though.
  • Homicide: Life on the Street: Sam Thorne is an investigative journalist and an old friend of Giardello's who has pissed off many powerful people with his newspaper. He's eventually assasinated on the orders of a Columbian drug cartel he was investigating.
  • The Hour's Freddie Lyon is stubborn to the extreme, and if he senses a story, he will stop at nothing until he has all the information. He's gotten into trouble several times when he stubbornly continued to pursue clues even after being encouraged, ordered or threatened to drop the matter. However, most of the other journalists on the show are somewhat more realistic.
  • Jack McGee in The Incredible Hulk (1977). He may be chasing a tabloid-like tale of a giant green monster (and gets mocked for it by his colleagues), but he's keen on reporting the truth. On occasion he reports on other breaking news and scandals that deserve coverage
  • Both Maddie and Carla on Jonathan Creek qualify, falling somewhere between the good and bad versions of the trope. Maddie isn't averse to a little breaking and entering or using the Bavarian Fire Drill to get a story, and Carla is a sensationalist television journalist.
  • Little House on the Prairie:
    • How Mrs. Oleson plays herself up in episodes that involve newspapers and journalism. In reality, she is doing nothing more than spreading malicious gossip and — to the chagrin of her husband, Nels — playing herself and her family up as moral, upstanding citizens and the faces of the community (again, to Nels' chagrin) spreading rumors and lies, characterizing it as investigative journalism and human interest.
    • John Sanderson Jr., Mr. Edwards' adopted son, who had accepted a job at a newspaper in Chicago. John Jr. was investigating a corrupt businessman and politician, and kills him (in a "streetcar accident") before the story can go to press. This has triggered Mr. Edwards' relapse into alcoholism, but before that, Charles and Edwards work with the newspaper publisher and editor to uncover the truth.
  • Lois Lane and Clark Kent in Lois & Clark are this. More so than in other Superman incarnations much of the focus is on Lane and Kent developing their stories.
    • They didn't do so shabby in The Adventures of Superman either. Alone among the Superman series, nearly all of the antagonists are corrupt officials, mobsters, etc. that Clark, Lois, and/or Jimmy encountered while following a news lead.
  • The Poirot adaptation of The Big Four adds a new character called Lawrence Tysoe, a journalist who was one of the first people to know about the titular Big Four and stirs up quite a lot of hysteria and panic by publishing the information against his superiors' wishes. He was later recruited by Poirot to the investigation, partly to protect the guy from the organisation he's trying to report on.
  • Betty Cooper and Jughead Jones, reporters for the Riverdale High School Paper, the Blue & Gold. Despite the fact that it's only a school paper, Riverdale being a Stepford Suburbia means that their articles often involve uncovering the truth about local murders, criminal gangs, drug dealers, organised crime and government corruption.
  • Scandal:
    • Gideon. God help you if you get in the way of his scoop.
    • James picks up the mantle in Season Two. As with Gideon, he's not sure where the story is taking him.
  • Scream: Piper Shaw invokes this as a cover for the fact that she is Ghostface in season one.
  • Yana in Servant of the People who always jumps on an occasion to discredit the new president.
  • The Shadow Line has Ross McGovern, a journalist that wants to write a story exposing police corruption and one of the show's few genuinely heroic characters.
  • Stargate SG-1:
    • Julia Donovan in "Prometheus". In her case, it turns out that she was actually put up to it by a government black-ops group that was going to hijack the Prometheus and use it as blackmail to get one of their leaders free. However, she was entirely unaware of their ulterior motives (or the fact that her camera crew were smuggling weapons in with their gear.) As far as she was concerned, she really was just an honest Intrepid Reporter, it just turns out that the people who were feeding her the initial information were something different.
    • Earlier in "Secrets", there was Armin Selig, who had a concrete scoop about the Stargate Program. He got hit by a car after confronting Jack with his suspicions. Never explicitly said, but Jack was left half-believing it was arranged.
    • Emmet Bregman, the documentary-maker who visits the base in the two-part episode Heroes, tries to be something of this when he repeatedly forces himself in the middle of every ongoing situation, but each time is sent away by the colonel in charge of supervising him. (It's stated that some of this is due to not wanting to take risks after the Julia Donovan incident, but additionally the members of Stargate Command just find his presence annoying and disruptive.) He never ends up in the middle of the action like he wanted, but he ends up witnessing a good deal more of it than he really bargained for.
  • Star Trek: Deep Space Nine: Jake Sisko becomes this, although his original ambition was to be a novelist, risking his life to cover the front lines of the Dominion War and to report from the occupied station.
    • He nearly got killed early in his writing career in "Nor The Battle To The Strong", when he and Bashir were diverted to assist a Federation field hospital under siege by the Klingons. Jake expected a lot of derring-do for his story, only to find that when people were actually shooting at him he wasn't anywhere near as brave as he thought he'd be.
  • 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.
  • Cal McCaffrey and his fellow reporters in State of Play all fit the type, although they all avoid the stereotype of the lone crusader and rogue - by design, according to Paul Abbott. They might drink, have affairs, and employ less-than-ethical tactics, but they're not stupid about it.
  • Stranger Things deconstructs this trope with Nancy in season 3. Nancy's relentless pursuit of a big scoop ends up getting the paper she works for into legal trouble, which leads to her and Jonathan (whom she dragged along) getting fired. This is made even worse because, unlike most other examples of this trope, she wasn't even an official reporter, she was an intern.
  • Taken: In "Acid Tests", Sam Crawford, a journalism student at UC Berkeley who writes for the college newspaper, travels to Hyder, Alaska to investigate the strange writing found in the burial chamber. He realizes that there is something more going on when Sheriff Kerby tells Dr. Powell and his archaeology students Sarah, Buzz, and Daryl to leave town after it is discovered that the mummy is no more than six years old.
  • The satirical title character of This Is David Lander/Harper, as played by Stephen Fry and later Tony Slattery, is a recklessly determined investigative journalist in a trench coat. He frequently puts himself in dangerous or ethically dubious situations in his attempts to expose corruption.
  • Titans (2018). Donna Troy has stopped being Wondergirl and sticks to her civilian identity as a reporter, because she realised she could do more good that way than as a superhero.
  • The Twilight Zone:
    • In "Valley of the Shadow", a journalist named Philip Redfield discovers a small town named Peaceful Valley while driving through New Mexico. He notices strange occurrences around town and realizes that there's something unusual going on, leading him to investigate. Once he discovers that the town's citizens have access to various extremely advanced forms of Applied Phlebotinum, he is determined to reveal the truth to the world, even risking death to do so.
    • In "Queen of the Nile", Jordan Herrick arrives at Pamela Morris' house in Hollywood to write a fluff piece about her and is immediately smitten with her. However, his curiosity is piqued when Viola Draper, ostensibly Pamela's elderly mother, tells him that she is her daughter. With the help of Mrs. Draper and his editor Krueger in Chicago, Jordan determines that Pamela is immortal and has used many identities, including the Silent Movie star Constance Taylor and the stage actress Gladys Gregory, over the years.
  • V (1983) has Kristine Walsh, who lost her objectivity so completely that she pretty much became the Minister of Propaganda for the Visitors. She changed her tune, however, about five seconds before she was fatally shot. In the A. C. Crispin novelization, she had a reputation for sensationalism and many people said, "(Paraphrasing)<Walter Cronkite?> wants the story and Kristine Walsh wants the GLORY."
  • The West Wing:
    • Being the White House correspondent, Danny Concannon is supposed to be intrepid or people will accuse him of letting a second Watergate go by, which puts him in a bit of a tricky spot since he's good friends with the President, literally wrote the book on the First Lady and has a crush on the Press Secretary.
    • We also meet other intrepid reporters on that show, such as C.J.'s friend Will Sawyer who ends up getting killed in the Congo. And there's a subversion where Toby gets a press pass for a Russian journalist so she can cover a summit between their two governments, having assumed that the reason the Russians didn't want to let her in was that she was some kind of idealistic Voice of the Resistance. Turns out she was just a glorified gossip writer who had printed a lot of unchecked, fabricated or gratuitously nasty stories about them in a crappy tabloid. "They should give up your spot and put another naked woman in there!"
  • The Victim of the Week in the Without a Trace episode "The Source". Paired with a Bittersweet Ending — she's murdered, but thanks to her work, an innocent man will be freed from prison.
    • Also in the episode "Exposure", a legitimate photojournalist turned Paparazzi trying to turn back to legitimate. It was feared that he'd met with foul play due to either of these ventures, but it turned out that'd he'd gotten into an accident on his own.
  • One late-season episode of The Golden Girls sees Rose, who's taken a job at the local news station as an assistant to a reporter, try to become an on-screen reporter herself. Sophia urges her to follow this trope, insisting that "a good reporter gets the story, no matter what." Rose is given a test assignment of covering a local dog show, and it looks like she'll have a shot at success when an armed robber shows up at the event and she's the only news correspondent at the scene. She remembers Sophia's advice to get the story, and does just that...unfortunately, she sticks to her original job and literally covers the dog show ("We're here with something truly shocking—dogs who look like their owners!") while the crook robs the terrified participants.
  • Power Rangers Dino Fury has Amelia, who works at BuzzBlast doing segments on things like glow-in-the-dark lip gloss but would prefer to report on paranormal phenomena.

Made-for-TV Movies:

  • In the Made-for-TV movie Special Bulletin, a reporter is told to get out of the way in case a terrorist home-made bomb turns out to actually be a nuclear weapon, but stays on the scene because he believes that they have more than an hour before it will detonate, not realizing that when the government assault team captures it, they make a mistake and set it off.

  • Mystery Show's Starlee Kine is sort of an example, in that she'll stop at nothing to solve the Mystery of the Week and share the story. In one episode, she gets an assist from a straighter example, an investigative reporter who has a Friend on the Force.
  • Limetown consists of the reports of APR reporter Lia Haddock as she goes way beyond what she has to (or perhaps even should) do to find the truth about the titular town.
  • In In Strange Woods, investigative journalist Brett Ryback uses his podcast and interviews to let the residents tell their stories in their own words, keeping himself on the outside of the story.

    Pro Wrestling 
  • Dr. Mike Lano, pro wrestling photojournalist, who will go so far as to take up a managerial position if it can get him close enough to a subject that interests him.
  • Stephy in the World Wrestling League. He was nearly choked out by Thunder of La Artilleria Pesada after he was startled by Stephy seemingly stalking him. Later his effort to get the story on La Rabia led to him being inducted into the group.
  • Lenny Leonard is the most consistent example across the WWN Family(main members FIP, EVOLVE, Shine, as well as predecessors Ring of Honor and SHIMMER), once lamenting that the locker room was a lot less interesting when it wasn't as full of wrestlers hostile to him. Others include Steve Corino(as a wrestler, he can be expected to take care of himself but it still takes stones to confront 3/4ths of Bullet Club alone), and Amber Gertner, but the best examples may be Rob Naylor and Kid Cadet, for whom running from aggravated wrestlers was a Running Gag. But no matter how many times they were chased off they never gave up.

  • Frontier Gentleman featured J.B. Kendall, correspondent for the London Times, roaming The Wild West.
  • Dan Holliday was an intrepid reporter for the Star-Times, before becoming an intrepid freelance writer in the Radio Drama Box 13.
  • The Adventures of Superman paid only lip-service to Clark Kent's "mild-mannered" description—especially in the early years, when Superman operated mostly as an urban legend, and it was Clark Kent who investigated all the stories. (This portrayal of Clark as a confident, assertive journalist carried over into the George Reeves television series.) When World War II broke out, Clark even became an agent of the federal government on the side.
    • Jimmy Olsen (see comics) was originally created for the radio show.
  • Karla Kolumna from Benjamin Blümchen, a German Language audio drama series for kids.
  • Bellingham Terror David Phillips starts out as one of these in 1935 Bellingham but quickly devolves to Shell-Shocked Veteran due to Bellingham being Lovecraft Country.

  • Dawn of a New Age: Oldport Blues:
    • Rhys is a high school variant, being an aspiring writer who works for the school's newspaper. He first gets involved with the plot when he sights the other students acting suspiciously and follows along behind them, determined to get to the bottom of events relating to his newfound superpowers.
    • Minor character Esther Byun is an investigative journalist who first appears in the story while looking into the disappearances of some of the superpowered kids. Her prying into affairs isn't well-received by Hyeon, who calls her a parasite and ignores her plea for information.
  • Agent Scott in Dino Attack RPG showed up after the battle to interview its participants, probably arriving sometime before it was over given he was there to report the moment victory was announced. Parodies humorously later on when Lotta Brix, J. Theano, and Seymour Brickstein from official LEGO Canon also show up, and the four reporters end up getting distracted bickering over who gets the story.
  • Several of the players in Scary News out of Tokyo-3 are reporters of this sort. They're often stuck in the area when an imminent attack is announced — or they just don't leave, as they see no point in running. Much of what is known by the players about the characters from the founding work derives from interviews conducted by them.

    Tabletop Games 
  • Shadowrun. The reporters ("snoops") described in the Shadowbeat sourcebook. They have to worry about being harassed, attacked or even killed by Mega Corps and various magical threats (spells, monsters, etc.) they're reporting on.
  • Toon supplement Tooniversal Tour Guide
    • "Atomic Monster Theater" setting. Scoop Mellin is an overweight, balding rat in a cheap suit who always gets his story. He's often present when space aliens or Kaiju attack.
    • "Toonpunk 2020 1/2" setting. Gibson Williams is an investigative reporter for the Daily Midnight News Network who will do whatever it takes to get a scoop.
  • In Rocket Age the Rocket News service is entirely made up of brave men and women willing to travel the stars for the biggest scoop.
  • Literally the name of a Human class in Bleak World what they lack in combat skills, they more than make up for in cunning and resourcefulness. Their job in an adventuring party will likely be the face or The Team Benefactor seeing as how they have boosts to their Persona and Funding skills.



    Video Games 
  • Alpha Protocol Scarlet Lake is this, also enjoying a chance to get her hands on evidence of Halbech's dirty deeds. Subverted. She uses her reporter status as a cover for her...other career. And there's no indication that she ever runs an expose on anything Halbech does; she is, after all, on their payroll. It makes one wonder if Halbech asked her to approach Mike for that reason.
  • The Bayonetta franchise has Luka, and his late father Antonio Redgrave.
  • Jade from Beyond Good & Evil is a reporter working for an underground resistance movement, and her job is to sneak into government facilities and expose its complicity with the alien invaders.
  • Marcel from Castlevania: Order of Ecclesia is a journalist out for the next big scoop. In the end, he loses his job. After all, he's supposed to be a sportswriter, his desired subjects are decidedly tabloid fare (although existing), he makes Shanoa take all the photos, and even his surefire hit story about Shanoa's abilities is subject to a press ban. He never had a chance.
  • Nolan Campbell in Clock Tower 2 is trying to uncover the Clock Tower story. He's enough of a badass that, if you take Jennifer's route, he picks a fight with the Scissorman and lives.
  • In the adventure game The Dagger Of Amon Rah, you play as Laura Bow, the intrepid reporter who ends up solving a murder mystery, depending on which ending you get.
  • Frank West of Dead Rising. He's covered wars, you know.
  • In Deus Ex, tabloid journalist Joe Greene hounds JC Denton to get leads on UNATCO's activities. Eventually, you learn the truth: he was working for the Ancient Conspiracy all along, and even his nonsensical writings about alien plagues paving the way for invasion were just clever ways to discredit anyone who knows the truth about the Gray Death.
  • Shoji from Devil Survivor. Starting out as a civilian trapped in the lockdown who just happens to be a journalist, it doesn't take long for her to get doubts about the hows and whys of the whole lockdown and vows to get to the bottom of things, make it out of the lockdown alive and tell the public what the government doesn't tell them. How that last one works out isn't shown, but she does survive through the lockdown and manages to figure out most of what's happening, all without any means of defending herself against the demons overrunning Tokyo or any supernatural allies to help her. According to herself, she's "made of win".
  • The Dig costars Maggie Robbins, a journalist who achieved worldwide fame through this style of reporting and uses it to wrangle her way aboard the Space Shuttle on its mission to divert an asteroid from crashing into the Earth. She ends up getting whisked along for the ride when it turns out to be an alien spaceship. The other reason she was there was that she has a gift for learning new languages, and the government wanted her as a possible interpreter if aliens turned out to be involved. They did.
  • Double Switch: Alex is very much this. She ends up getting a story, and then some!
  • Dress Up! Time Princess: Elizabeth Colvin, the heroine of the book "Gotham Memoirs". Most of the story is driven by her inability to back down once she realizes she's on the trail of a story someone's been trying to cover up, and she holds fast to a sense of professional ethics unusual for the period's sensationalist journalism.
  • Eagle Eye Mysteries gives us Nancy Marx for the school paper in the first game, and Miranda Eagle and her fellow journalist Tungsten Wiles in the sequel.
  • Peter Jacob from Eternal Darkness, tangled up in the business of an Eldritch Abomination because the church he picked to take cover in while moving through France during WWI happened to be one of its cult's bases. As if it weren't enough covering a war, y'know?
  • EXTRAPOWER: Attack of Darkforce: Michiko, a journalist for a magazine company who seeks out Torajiro. High profile martial artists and athletes have gone missing, so she tracks him down to see if his dojo breaking streak is related. When she finds out it's a criminal organization behind the kidnappings, she joins up with the player characters, following through all the danger to get her scoop.
  • Fallout 4: Piper Wright, the writer of "Publick Occurrences", who goes out and finds stories, like:
    • When she found a caravan racket driving up food prices; they poisoned her drink for revealing their scheme and she was forced to down a whole bottle of moonshine in order to induce vomiting.
    • When she found the Children of Atom, who tried to sacrifice her to their "god"; she ended up faking a vision to save her life.
  • Keats of Folklore definitely falls under this, considering how he's apparently okay with actually running around in the Netherworld and whaling on supernatural monsters just to get a good story for his magazine. Amusingly enough, Keats - an Agent Scully writing for an occult magazine - stubbornly refuses to believe that the Netherworld and his experiences there are actually real, but plays along and goes on asking questions and digging for clues in an effort to get to the truth (or,
failing that, a good story).
  • In Front Mission for the SNES and PS1, a reporter named Frederick Lancaster joins your mercenary unit. You'd expect the guy to be The Load but he turns out to be quite a useful team member and ends up playing a key part in the story several times over, all in the name of "getting a good scoop".
  • Madison Paige, one of the protagonists of Heavy Rain. She seems to specialize in almost getting killed by creepy serial killers. Madison is plagued by nightmares of being assaulted and killed due to the danger she puts herself in for her job. But this is never brought up after her introduction and she doesn't seem bothered by the events she goes through in the game itself.
  • Your character in Lighthouse: The Dark Being.
  • Maglam Lord has Julette, the star of the eponymous "Julette's Vivid*Voyage". It is an adventure documentary show live broadcasted to the citizens of Arcadio, so the people can enjoy the experience of traveling to uncharted lands without actually putting themselves in danger. Later, after she gets fired and joins the protagonist after an episode gone horribly wrong, Julette tries to lean more into her journalistic integrity by investigating actual mysteries and reporting them to the wider world, fighting off monsters and other dangers personally all the while.
  • Kylie Koopa, ace reporter from Mario & Luigi: Partners in Time. She messes with the Shroobs and puts herself in danger to get her scoops, having to be rescued by the brothers at one point, but later in the game, she rescues the Bros from the Princess Shroob and her minions in her own ship.
  • Mass Effect has minor character Emily Wong, whom you can help on a few occasions, as well as another less friendly reporter whom you can punch in the ribs. She takes field reporting to the next level when she livetweets the Reaper invasion. And dies a Heroic Sacrifice.
    How does a human die? At ramming speed.
  • In Medal of Honor: Underground, there are several missions where your character, a female French resistance soldier, gets to go undercover as a French reporter, in order to sneak behind enemy lines and capture photographic activity of German activity. In reporter mode enemies will ignore you (and even pose for the camera if you try taking their picture) but if you accidentally draw a gun while looking through your items, you'll have every German firing at you within seconds.
  • Holly White in Metal Gear 2. Not that you'd know her if you hadn't played the game. She's only mentioned once after her appearance in Metal Gear 2, in the previous story section of Metal Gear Solid's manual.
  • Not for Broadcast has Jeremy Donaldson, a Jerk with a Heart of Gold who works as an anchorman for the People's Republic of Tyranny's Propaganda Machine and is one of the first to speak out (privately) against the new regime, ranting about the people's right to know and the Bread and Circuses he's forced to take part in. Eventually he has a nervous breakdown and holds his coworkers at gunpoint in an attempt to get the truth out. He potentially turns the gun on himself and becomes an Inspirational Martyr for La Résistance, but the player can ensure his survival which is a requirement for the Golden Ending in which he helps expose the masterminds on both sides of the conflict.
  • Miles Upshur, the protagonist of Outlast. The plot of the game follows his attempts to uncover the truth about Mount Massive Asylum for the Criminally Insane by finding documents and recording everything on his video camera. As this is a Survival Horror game, he's also trying to avoid getting killed by insane hospital patients, among other nasty things.
  • Persona:
    • Maya Amano of Persona 2 fame and her equally intrepid photographer Yukino Mayuzumi are very much made of this. It helps a lot to have a Persona and a full team of other Persona users on their side, though, when they confront madmen as the two Jokers, corrupt politicians, Thai mob bosses, and, oh, yes, the rampaging hordes of demons scouring Sumaru City and effing Nyarlathotep.
    • Ichiko Ohya in Persona 5 was a jaded Broken Bird who had a history of Going for the Big Scoop but stopped after it got her friend hurt, and started twisting the truth for sales instead. After meeting Ren she gradually opens up and returns to her old ways.
  • Despite having no newspaper or magazine to report to after the first ten minutes of the game, Jyoji Hijiri of Shin Megami Tensei III: Nocturne still keeps on digging for information in the Vortex World, functioning as the resident Mr. Exposition. The only other people who know more than him are Hikawa (who started the whole mess in the first place), Futomimi (who can see the future), and the Woman in Black and the Man in the Wheelchair. Before the game, he wrote an article about the end of the world and got it exactly right. Fridge Logic sets in when that specific knowledge was forbidden inside a certain cult, and he probably had to get pretty deep in that cult in order to discover that.
  • Touhou Project: Aya Shameimaru. Actual canon description: "Aya wasn't covering events; Aya was creating the events themselves." Borders on Paparazzi in fanon.
  • Elena Fisher from Uncharted is more than willing to risk her life for a story. The second game essentially makes her into a full-fledged Action Girl who just happens to be a reporter. In Drake's Fortune, she Jumped at the Call. Sort of. She and her producers had already paid Nate for his little diving expedition, and they (and she) really wanted a story to go along with their investment. She gets dragged into the adventure when Nate takes her to the supposedly deserted island and their plane (their only way home, initially) gets shot down. The second game has her in full intrepid reporter mode, trying very hard to prove that Big Bad Zoran Lazarevic is still alive so that the United Nations or whoever will actually capture and try him for his numerous crimes.
  • Ellet from Valkyria Chronicles takes it upon her to report everything that goes on during the Gallian War, especially if it means going to the front lines with Squad 7's leader, Welkin Gunther.
  • World of Horror has 19-year old class photographer Kouji Tagawa, who goes for what is practically the biggest scoop imaginable: preventing The End of the World as We Know It.
  • Two of the substories in Yakuza 0 revolves around one trying to infiltrate Kamurocho's underground so that he can break a story about a secret gun-running/human trafficking operation. Both times he gets in deep trouble and Kiryu has to bail him out.'
  • Yandere Simulator features one in its backstory. In the 1980s, he had found evidence that at least one murder at a high school was committed by a Yandere, namely, Ryoba Aishi, who is the mother of our protagonist. He turned her in, only for this trope to backfire against him as she claimed to the court that he was a pervert who wanted a sensational storyline. This makes him a nationwide pariah and unemployable. Worst part is, he's right. And she's crazy enough to follow him overseas after he tried and failed to bring her to justice years later.

    Visual Novels 
  • Ace Attorney:
    • Spark Brushel in Apollo Justice: Ace Attorney.
    • Lotta Hart from the Phoenix Wright set, though she's more of an amateur photographer than an intrepid reporter. She works for an occult magazine, later changing to celebrity photography after getting too scared.
    • A freelance vigilante example is the Yatagarasu from Ace Attorney Investigations, a master thief who specializes in stealing evidence of corrupt business dealings and sending them to the media rather than the police.
    • Investigations 2 gives us Nicole Swift, who manages to get herself wrapped up in a staged assassination attempt on the president of Zheng Fa, set up by said president and his bodyguard Knightley to raise his popularity ratings. Nicole is promised an interview with the president in exchange for pretending to be a sniper, never knowing she was actually meant to take the fall for the murder of uninvolved bodyguard Ethan Rooke, which was orchestrated by Knightley himself because he was jealous of Rooke's superior status. Unsurprisingly given the way she acts and talks, Nicole was mentored by Lotta Hart, and the two meet up towards the end of the game to investigate another "scoop" together.
    • Raiten Menimemo from The Great Ace Attorney.
  • Averted in Double Homework. The reporters mentioned in the story usually keep themselves to whichever tidbits about the protagonist and/or the Barbarossa incident leak out online.
  • Tamie Nogi in Princess Evangile, who is determined to cover Masaya's stay in Vincennes despite him being pursued by Yakuza thugs. It comes to a head when she comes face-to-face with the thugs in question, one of whom is wielding a loaded handgun and threatening to shoot Masaya in public.
  • Spirit Hunter series:
    • Christie from Death Mark, a former news anchor whose journalistic knowledge provides useful clues for the protagonist.
    • Ban from Spirit Hunter: NG is a journalist that hounds Seiji for his ties to the Yakuza, and his effectiveness is shown when he's easily able to put together a profile on Akira, Seiji's friend. Despite the antagonism, he assists the protagonists by sharing what he knows of the supernatural incidents, and later becomes one of Akira's companions.

  • El Goonish Shive:
    • Carol, big sister of Sarah. Her motto is "I grew up in Moperville. Weird stuff happens here". In the last appearance, she has a blitz interview on "superhero sighting" opened with low-altitude drop from a helicopter. Merely to reach her witnesses quickly and have her team's copter free to chase "Cheerleadra" at the same time.
    • Earlier, Elliot's imaginary alter-ego "Super Elliot" has this as his day job.
  • The online incarnation of The Dandy reinvents the character "Keyhole Kate" as an intrepid reporter for the school paper. (In the print version, she was just nosy.)
  • In The Letters Of The Devil, Vida Olivier is a tabloid reporter following up on an anonymous letter implicating a political couple in the shady deaths of their late spouses.
  • Golden, from M9 Girls! fancies herself one, snooping into the M9 Girls' lab in order to find their secret. She ends up being captured by the Big Bad goonies.
  • In Quantum Vibe Claud Southend initially seems to be just some nosy reporter from Luna. But then he goes to great lengths, even risking his own life, to uncover a conspiracy against Nicole.
  • Roger from Genocide Man is an intrepid blogger, with a camera implanted in the sinus below his eye. He's following Jacob Doe, a rogue Super Soldier with a suitcase full of genetically modified ebola, for the sake of a story.
  • Rallidae, a vlogger/future news reporter from Cat Nine seems to like getting in on the action together with her brother.
  • H. Gavin Aubergine, of Harbourmaster, is a professional muckraker, the government of Tethys' PR officer, and a good-natured pebble in everyone's shoe. He works as the 'loyal opposition' more often than not, because even an enlightened despotism needs an opposing voice. On the one occasion where he's installed as governor regent of the planet, he stages a protest against himself on general principles. But all that's perfectly normal for a reporter, until Tal's grandfather notes that Gavin has been banned in and from several planets.
    Gavin: I suppose I haven't done up a good 'the despot is a no-fun jerk' editorial in a while.

    Web Original 
  • Shin in Sailor Nothing, who idolizes Hunter S. Thompson. She is obsessed with bringing out the Truth, and her name even means "truth" in Japanese.
  • Decades of Darkness has a whole family of them: Ulysses, Jesse, and Diane Grant.
  • CRACKED columnists frequently end up trying to get stories this way. Insane, blatantly untrue stories.
  • Celeste McLachlan of the Slenderblog Make It Count. Bad journalistic choices are a little bit justified in that she's still very young.
  • Shadow Unit: Solomon Todd (known as Duke to his colleagues) was this before he joined the FBI. It makes him really, really good at following paper trails and getting stories out of traumatised witnesses. It's probably not where he learnt the skills that make him the team's executioner, though.

    Web Videos 
  • In Code MENT, Camera 3 owns this trope.
    Detard: Hey, where the hell is Camera 3?
    Assistant: He said he was gonna get some "action shots".
    '[cut to collapsing building]
    Camera 3 Man:
    [falling to his death] THIS-IS-GONNA-BE-THE-BEST-SHOT-EVER!!''
    Gavin: I suppose I haven't done up a good 'the despot is a no-fun jerk' editorial in a while.
  • Patricia Neilson in KateModern. Unfortunately, the other characters see her as a nuisance and seldom help her investigation.
  • In Dr. Horrible's Sing-Along Blog, two people, a photographer and a reporter (taking notes) stay while Dr. Horrible is shooting up the homeless shelter they are in. The reporter is in the front row and does not bat an eye when Dr. Horrible comes over to correct her spelling, only leaning to show him her notebook. He has not put the gun down.
  • Very much inverted in the Hat Films series Hat Pack, in which Colin (a made-up character played by Trott) doesn't so much as leave the bath when he's meant to be working.

    Western Animation 
  • The Adventures of Teddy Ruxpin: While Grundo lacks a dedicated news network, the character Louie the Grunge acts like this. He travels all over the land in a peddle powered helicopter filming anything potentially newsworthy for his boss the Wizard of Grundo's oracle business.
  • The Get Along Gang: One of the episodes in this short-lived animated series from 1984 was "Nose For News," which is actually a satire against the intrepid reporter. Each of the main protagonists tries his or her hand at filming their own news story to win a shot at being the local TV station's new Kids' Reporter. However, attempts to do feature reporting, investigative journalism, sports reporting, a restaurant review (which does nothing but piss off the owner) and a weather report (a sudden storm comes just as Portia Porcupine is taping a report about a beautiful day) all fall flat. Meanwhile, series antagonist Catchum Crocodile and his sidekick Leland Lizard scheme to capture the job by staging a Damsel in Distress runaway balloon incident, which sets up the finale: When the attempt to stage the incident goes horribly wrong and Catchum and Leland are trapped atop a high water tower, the Get Along Gang members are forced to rescue them; meanwhile, Braker Turtle has happened on the scene and, told to watch the video camera, films the rescue ... and he ends up getting the job of Kids' Reporter. When the Get Along Gang members watch the news and most of them complain about not getting the job, leader Montgomery Moose puts it into perspective: In essence: "We tried to create the news, Braker reported what actually happened." To wit: The moral comes off as investigative journalism and so forth is bad.
  • Summer Gleason in Batman: The Animated Series sometimes takes on this role. Lois Lane in the spinoff Superman animated series is the more traditional example.
  • In the Captain Caveman shorts on The Flintstone Comedy Show, Betty and Wilma were reporters for "The Daily Granite" who'd wind up accompanying Captain Caveman on his adventures.
  • Danny Phantom played with this for one episode with topnotch reporter Harriet Chin. When she finds ghosts to be true, she enthusiastically scoops up the story and sends it to the paper she works on; she's promptly fired. In a later episode, she got a job as a news lady—though by that point ghosts have become public awareness.
  • Gargoyles had Travis Marshall, in both cartoon and comic continuities.
  • The Big Bad Wolf in Hoodwinked!, real name Wolf W. Wolf, is one of these. The character is heavily based on Irwin Fletcher, mentioned above.
  • The Legend of Korra: Shiro Shinobi, the announcer, was one before he took his announcing job.
  • Liberty's Kids features two of these as main characters - 14-year-old James and 15-year-old Sarah.
  • Alya in Miraculous Ladybug is Marinette's best friend and an aspiring journalist who runs the Ladyblog, a site dedicated to Paris's superheroes (unaware, of course, that her BFF is Ladybug). She never hesitates to run headlong into danger to catch footage of Monster of the Week attacks for her blog; in "The Pharaoh", she doesn't stop streaming even when the titular villain grabs her with the intent of using her as a human sacrifice!
  • OK K.O.! Let's Be Heroes has Dynamite Watkins, a super-powered news anchor for Action 52 News.
  • The Quack Pack version of Daisy Duck was a globe-trotting reporter for the TV series What in the World?.
  • The Spectacular Spider-Man has both the Daily Bugle's publisher, J. Jonah Jameson, and its editor-in-chief Joe Robertson had aspects of this. As did a number of the paper's journalists, including photographer Peter Parker alias Spider-Man. Also the Daily Bugle's Ned Lee, who's investigating the secret identities of Spider-Man and the Green Goblin.
  • Lois Lane naturally in Superman: The Animated Series. Her introduction revolves around her discovery of a wide-spread gun smuggling ring.
  • In SWAT Kats, "Kat's Eye News" reporter Ann Gora sometimes got herself and her camera crew in danger while following the Swat Kats' adventures.
  • April O'Neil was turned into one of these for the first Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon. The change remained for the Archie adaptation of the cartoon, and, to a lesser extent, the movies.
  • Ultimate Spider-Man makes Mary Jane into this trope, though she isn't in most other incarnations.
  • In Central Park, Paige Hunter wants to be this type of reporter instead of writing fluff piece for her newspaper. She ends up getting what she wants when she's trying to figure out why the Park League's contract to maintain Central Park has been frozen by city hall.

    Real Life 
  • Quite a few Real Life reporters have fitted this mold for at least some of their careers. Nellie Bly, for example. And Bob Woodward & Carl Bernstein would hardly have gotten their stories on Watergate if they hadn't been a bit intrepid. Bly's exploits in search of the story include traveling around the world in 72 days in 1889 and infiltrating a lunatic asylum as a patient in 1887.
  • The late, great Dr. Hunter S. Thompson (AKA Raoul Duke), founder of a branch of journalism called "Gonzo" (no, not THAT Gonzo (or that OTHER GONZO)), who not only went out to find the stories, he fucking MADE them, and included himself, the line between journalism and fiction was delightfully and psychedelically blended. Played particularly straight when he was sent to cover a motorcycle race and a police convention, and ended up with Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. He rode with the Hell's Angels for several months, got stomped by them after it became clear he wasn't a pet publicist who would lead them to a lot of money, and, despite his famous temper, still wrote a fair and compassionate, though not blindly sympathetic, account of his time with them. Another moment was his (satirical) claim that, judging from appearances, Edmund Muskie was on the South American hallucinogenic Ibogaine during the '72 election campaign. It got picked up and reported as real news, apparently by news organizations who hadn't gotten the word about Hunter yet... This actually caused some problems for Muskie, or at least an uncomfortable question or two from the press.
  • In Australia, two rival "current-affairs" shows, Today Tonight and A Current Affair practice "foot-in-the-door" investigative "journalism". The war between TT and ACA can get quite nasty. Though the actual quality of the stories on both shows is up for debate.
    "These shows prey on the sensationalism that stupid people lap up, with stories of supermarkets conspiring to jack up their prices, of dodgy car parks where your car will be sold into white slavery and which celebrity diet is really the most effective."
  • "Doctor Livingstone, I presume?"
  • The entire notion of intrepid vs. ethics has become hotly contested within the journalistic field, as noted by this article from an old episode of Frontline
  • Old Time examples of intrepid reporters are arguably more interesting from the dramatic point of view. They could actually write reports that had good story quality. Besides Stanley (mentioned above), there are the great War Correspondents and Foreign Correspondents like Ernie Pyle, Edward R. Murrow, Walter Cronkite, Alan Moorehead, Lowell Thomas, and Sulzberger. There is also James/Jan Morris who did the dispatches from the Everest climb. These types make great characters for a Jungle Opera. Michael Yon today seems like a throwback to that type. Maybe he was Born in the Wrong Century.
  • Herb Morrison of WLS, who recorded the iconic reportage of The Hindenburg disaster, is arguably an example of this. He was clearly shocked and frightened, but stood his ground and kept right on recording until he was finally overcome by the smoke and heat and forced to seek shelter. Minutes later, he was outside again, interviewing survivors. This is what broadcasters do. A gigantic gasbag explodes into hellish flame over a thousand feet into the sky directly above our heads — and we stand there and tell you about it.
  • ITV football commentator John Helm turned up to a routine TV engagement on the 11th May 1985, to report on a Third Division match between Bradford City and Lincoln City, a football game a long way away from the glamour of Manchester United or Chelsea. He was, in fact, practically the only journalist in the ground, so low was the sporting or news significance of the fixture. He and his camera team then recorded the horror of the stadium fire that erupted unexpectedly and was responsible for the deaths of fifty-six people and were the only news presence there for a long time.
  • Herodotus, while called the "father of history" sometimes seems rather like an intrepid reporter as well.
  • The Miami Herald's Julie Brown was instrumental in the July 2019 arrest of serial pedophile Jeffrey Epstein. In 2008, Epstein was given a sweetheart, illegal note  Federal non-prosecution deal. He was given a 13-month sentence in state prison in which he only spent evenings and Sundays in prison. Alexander Acosta, who would later become Trump's Labor Secretary, was the US Attorney in Miami at the time and didn't give the grand jury a 53-page assessment the FBI had made on Epstein. The deal caught Brown's attention again after Acosta became Labor Secretary in early 2017. After the Weinstein story broke that Fall, she was able to get more of Epstein's victims to talk to her. She has identified roughly 80 women altogether and found out that the FBI knew 36 of them were underage in the report Acosta had buried. She spent almost all of 2018 identifying more victims and publishing more stories about how the deal just didn't add up. In early July, Epstein was arrested in New Jersey on federal sex trafficking charges after his plane from France landed. The head of the New York City's FBI office and the US Attorney for Manhattan both said that they had been helped by excellent investigative journalism without mentioning Brown by name. Epstein hanged himself in his prison cell a few weeks later so no criminal proceedings against him will continue but there are a few civil cases going on against his estate.
  • Veronica Guerin trained as an accountant before becoming one of Dublin's most important organized crime reporters, using her knowledge of accounting to trace drug lords' monetary assets. She received multiple death threats before her work got her assassinated in 1996, but her death led to a clampdown and the formation of the Criminal Assets Bureau. She was played in a biopic by Cate Blanchett.
  • Greg Palast, investigative reporter for BBC Newsnight and author. Among other things, he has done a great deal of investigation into the circumstances by which George W. Bush became President of the United States. He's made several documentaries and written several books about this. He's also investigated skulduggery in the Exxon Valdez disaster and the Shoreham Nuclear Power Station project.
  • Egon Erwin Kisch, whom you may call a Real Life trickster. As he said about himself: "I'm a German. I'm a Czech. I'm a Jew. I'm a Communist. I'm from a good family. I'm a student corps member. One of those always helps me out." He was actually called "Der rasende Reporter" ("The Furious/Speedy Reporter").
  • At no point in his long career was (now-retired) war correspondent Joe Galloway ever shy about rushing headlong into danger for the sake of a story. Most famous was his conduct at the Battle of Ia Drang during The Vietnam War, which was dramatized in the film We Were Soldiers (see above). He voluntarily accompanied U.S. Air Cavalry soldiers into a highly active combat zone where they were cut off from ground reinforcements, getting so close to the fighting that at one point it became necessary for him to keep an M-16 on his lap for self-defense, and taking considerable time out from his photography in order to drag wounded men to safety. Some of his photographs of the fighting became the first images many Americans had ever seen of the war in Vietnam. Later in life, his affinity for soldiers led him to become ferociously critical of shortsighted politicians who sacrificed soldiers' lives for what he believed were frivolous and idiotic reasons.
  • Rolling Stone's Evan Wright, famous for his chronicles of being embedded with the USMC's 1st Recon Battalion during the 2003 invasion of Iraq, which would eventually burgeon into the book and miniseries Generation Kill.
    • In an interview years later, Corporal Josh Ray Person recalled how Wright stuck around well into the invasion, giving him more cred with the Marines around him; many embedded journalists, at least according to Person, will leave after one firefight.
  • Pulitzer Prize winner Seymour Hersh. Among other things, Hersh uncovered the true story of the My Lai massacre, the Reagan Administration's PSYOPS campaign against the Soviet Union that led to the shooting down of Korean Air 007, and a number of hard-hitting articles criticizing the Iraq War.
  • During the investigation of the murders by Charles Manson, a group of TV reporters did some experiments to find evidence that the police were too incompetent to find. For instance, they changed clothes in a car that was proceeding from one of the murder sites to see if they could end up in the likely place where the murderers ditched them. It turns out they found the dump site right away and got the police to search the area while they covered the activity for their news show.
  • William Howard Russell, 19th Century war correspondent for the Times of London, might be the Trope Codifier. His coverage of the Crimean War exposed deficiencies in the British army's leadership and logistics systems, causing massive reforms after the war. He also covered the Indian Mutiny, American Civil War, and numerous other conflicts.
  • John Pilger. Amongst his many achievements, he is probably most renowned for his report from Pol Pot's Kampuchea (Cambodia) in October 1979. "Year Zero" [1] one of the most powerful, disturbing - and bravest - pieces of reporting ever, and its contents horrified the world: this was the first hint the public had of what later became known as The Killing Fields.
  • CNN reporter and news anchor Anderson Cooper has a rather nerve-wracking habit of running off to war and/or disaster areas in order to report from the middle of the action. He won a Peabody for his coverage of Hurricane Katrina (in which he was nearly decapitated by a flying street sign), got punched repeatedly on the streets of Cairo during the Arab Spring, and has reported live and on location from nearly every major war zone of the last thirty years. In 2011 he became part of the news when he rescued a young boy from a riot.
  • We have two intrepid documentary filmmakers to thank for 9/11, whom upon seeing a major disaster was affecting New York City, kept following the firefighters they were filming, giving us the priceless only footage from inside the World Trade Center on 9/11. Many intrepid reporters covered the burning towers. It's actually quite a miracle that only one intrepid reporter actually died covering it - Bill Biggart. The other reporter to die as a result of 9/11 was Thomas Pecorelli, a freelance Photojournalist who, unfortunately, was a passenger on American Airlines Flight 11, which kicked the whole event off, so he likely didn't even know just how big a story he was caught up in.
  • More of an Intrepid Meteorologist, as he's just reporting on the weather and not uncovering conspiracies or anything, but given that he tends to report on the worst weather in the world from inside it, there are good reasons that one should always endeavour to be where Jim Cantore is not.
  • James Foley, who was beheaded by ISIS while covering the Syria Civil War in 2014.
  • Santiago Pavlovic is a famous Chilean and very intrepid reporter. Although he lost an eye when he was a child, he became one of the most famous reporters and a mainstay in the Chilean TV channel TVN. In 1984, Pavlovic created Informe Especialnote , an investigation program where he and his team reported and still report diverse controversial themes, which include coverage of wars (Gulf War, Balkan Wars, Iraq & Afghanistan Wars, the Ukraine Conflict), give info about lethal diseases (AIDS, Malaria), unveiling public scandals and even revealing the horrors of Augusto Pinochet's dictatorship between 1973 and 1990. Because of his Eyepatch of Power, his experience covering wars and in general his badassery, there's a Memetic Mutation where Pavlovic is compared with Big Boss from Metal Gear. And for an extension, also various of his ex-companions in the time they were in Informe Especial: Rafael Cavada, Alipio Vera and Amaro Gomez-Pablos (the latter eventually became TV anchorman of the channel between 2004 and 2015).
  • Richard Engel, NBC News' Chief Foreign Correspondent and perhaps the greatest example of this in the 21st century.
    Rachel Maddow: [opening a minutes-long spiel on just how awesome Engel is] Richard Engel is NBC's Chief Foreign Correspondent, and forgive me for saying so, but he is better at being a foreign correspondent than anybody else in this business in this country. He is the best of his generation. You can drop Richard Engel anywhere in the world, and he will intrepidly hunt down the most important, most newsworthy thing that is happening there. And when the most important news in the world is happening in the kind of place you are not supposed to drop a foreign correspondent, he is the kind of guy who has been known to get himself there anyway in order to get the story.
  • Melchior Wańkowicz was a war correspondent during World War II, known both for his Door Stopper account of the Battle of Monte Cassino and for ducking under the enemy fire in order to write it.
  • Ernest Hemingway squarely fit this category during the Spanish Civil War, being among the last journalists to leave the country after covering the Battle of the Ebro, the last stand of the Republican forces.
  • Peter Kemp was a Gentleman Adventurer who wrote a trilogy about his experiences in the Spanish Civil War and WWII before spending the rest of his life covering revolutions across the world.
  • Recently, many news crews have traveled into Ukraine and complete danger to cover the Russian invasion. On March 14th, a crew consisting of Fox News reporter Benjamin Hall, cameraman Pierre Zakrzewski, and Ukrainian freelancer Oleksandra "Sasha" Kuvshynova were attacked in their vehicle by Russian soldiers near Kyiv. Zakrzewski and Kuvshynova died due to their injuries while Hall lost a foot, half of his leg, part of his hand, an eye, and some of his hearing.
    • Another prominent example is "Lord" Miles Routledge, a British independent journalist who achieved international fame for his habit of routinely visiting dangerous locations and reporting on his experiences. He went to the capital of Afghanistan the day before it was retaken by the Taliban in 2021, covered the 2022 Kazakhstan riots, and went to Ukraine as well to cover the invasion and offer as much aid as he could to the refugees.

What a scoop!


Video Example(s):

Alternative Title(s): Liberal Muckraking Bastard, The Muckraker, Intrepid Journalist


What's New, New York?

We see the place where news journalist Paige works at and seeing her get her first assignment.

How well does it match the trope?

4.5 (2 votes)

Example of:

Main / IntrepidReporter

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