The scoop is another scion of the competitive news mindset. There are two kinds of scoops:
1. The exclusive.
Uncovering a unique story through enterprise; something that probably would otherwise have gone unreported. These scoops are great for everyone. Exclusives broaden the universe of topics covered in the news, and so can enrich public discourse.
2. Being first.
Disseminating news of an issue or event before any other news outlet. The classic case is the frenzy among major news orgs to be the “first to call” a presidential election. But it can also mean being the first to report on a polluted site, or a lawsuit, or any definable newsworthy issue. This distinction, I’d argue, has not only ceased to be meaningful—most of the time it’s an outright red herring that damages the quality of news and ill-serves audiences.