MTV following high school journalists for The Paper

Journalism-themed reality shows haven’t yet been able to capture the public’s imagination. Bravo’s New York Daily News docudrama Tabloid Wars didn’t catch on with the public, and Bravo aired its final two episodes back-to-back starting at 7 p.m. because it apparently didn’t think anyone cared. MTV did the same thing with I’m from Rolling Stone, scheduling it at odd times and finally burning off the last few episodes on a Sunday night. Most recently, FOX dumped Anchorwoman after one episode.

But MTV is trying again, this time focusing on high school journalists who will star in a new show called The Paper. The series will follow the staff of The Circuit, the student newspaper at Florida’s biggest high school, Cypress Bay High. Eight episodes will air early next year.

The show’s executive producer, Marshall Eisen, told Variety that the show shouldn’t be called a reality series. “It’s more of a docu-series, where we’re talking about the lives of our participants. And it’s just a great way to get inside high school,” he said.

Note to reality show producers and networks: The whole damn point of reality television is watching real people’s lives, whether in an artificial context or their everyday lives, so if you have to start justifying shows as being real, there’s a significant problem somewhere.

MTV orders ‘The Paper’ [Variety]

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about the writer

Andy Dehnart is a journalist who has covered reality television for more than 15 years and created reality blurred in 2000. A member of the Television Critics Association, his writing and criticism about television, culture, and media has appeared on NPR and in Playboy, Buzzfeed, and many other publications. Andy, 36, also directs the journalism program at Stetson University in Florida, where he teaches creative nonfiction and journalism. He has an M.F.A. in nonfiction writing and literature from Bennington College. More about reality blurred and Andy.