Parents' Guide to

The Paper

By Melissa Camacho, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 13+

Teen journalism docu mixes passion, competition.

TV MTV Reality TV 2008
The Paper Poster Image

A Lot or a Little?

What you will—and won't—find in this TV show.

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Is It Any Good?

Our review:
Parents say: Not yet rated
Kids say: Not yet rated

Unlike many other teen-oriented reality shows (Laguna Beach and Newport Harbor, for example), The Paper offers viewers a refreshing chance to watch teens spend their time making a positive contribution to their high school community. Instead of arguing over boyfriends or showing off flashy possessions, these kids whip themselves into a frenzy by getting the "latest scoop," checking sources, and building skills that will help them reach their journalistic aspirations. Perhaps not surprisingly, their competitiveness leads to some emotional outbursts, extremely snarky exchanges, and backbiting, particularly when some of the over-achieving staffers resent having to work within the paper's leadership structure.

Chances are that many teens will be able to relate to this series, which offers a fun, often funny glimpse into what it's like to participate in one of high school's most common (and sometimes even prestigious) extracurricular activities. But the show also includes some mild sexual innuendo (including hugging and kissing), strong language ("ass" and "bitch" are audible, while stronger terms are bleeped), and occasional underage drinking. It might be a little strong for tweens, but for teens, The Paper is an entertaining reminder that there are still kids in this country who are resourceful, productive, and serious about their future.

TV Details

  • Premiere date: April 14, 2008
  • Network: MTV
  • Genre: Reality TV
  • TV rating: TV-PG
  • Last updated: October 28, 2022

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