I caught a re-run this afternoon. Although I never watched the Hills (and only watched enough of Laguna Beach to figure out that it wasn't a brilliant faux-reality meta-commentary on the O.C.), I think that maybe the Paper is what those shows would be if instead of vapid socal teens they were about ambitious super nerdy yet passably telegenic kids who lust after the power and glory that can only come from ruling the high school newspaper.
The first episode was pretty painful to watch, with all of its cliquish intrigue, overinvested characters, an ostracized overachiever, and plenty of teen drama. That is, this might turn out to be decent.