Scoops are important and likely to interest or concern many people. A scoop may be a new story, or a new aspect to an existing or breaking news story. It may be unexpected, surprising, formerly secret, and may come from an exclusive source. Events witnessed by many people generally cannot become scoops, (e.g., a natural disaster, or the announcement at a press conference). However, exclusive news content is not always a scoop, as it may not provide the requisite importance or excitement. A scoop may be also defined retrospectively; a story may come to be known as a scoop because of a historical change in perspective of a particular event.[further explanation needed] Due to their secret nature, scandals are a prime source of scoops (e.g., the Watergate scandal by Washington Post journalists Woodward and Bernstein).
Scoops are part of journalistic lore, and generally confer prestige on the journalist or news organization.
More generally, a scoop is the first discovery or the first report of something important.
A scoop in the scientific community is a report by one group before another, giving them scientific priority.