The Inquisitor has had its share of questionable stories (the Chupacabra, really?) but I don't feel that slight Weekly World News allusions that S6 and early S7 gave it are entirely representative of what the Inquisitor is in the fictional world of Smallville.
Early on, and someone correct me if I'm off based, the Inquisitor while often seen as a paper with some rather unscrupulous reporters was depicted in something resembling the NY Post. At least that was the real world counterpart I associated with it when I did my initial SV marathon to catch up. They did sensationalist stories with sensationalist headlines that catered more towards selling papers then being the newspaper of record that something like the NY Times would be. In late S5 Lionel had a meeting scheduled with the Inquisitor's top reporter (someone Chloe identified for us) to talk about "the weapon". Something tells me Lionel only went to the Inquisitor because if he'd gone to the DP first I'm sure they would have at least had some interest in what he had to say. Yes he was once convicted for the murder of his parents but he's still Lionel Luthor, one of the most powerful men in Metropolis.
However in S6 there was more than one reference towards the Inquisitor being of the Weekly World News variety. Yet even though lately that's the version of the Inquisitor that gets mentioned more I don't see it entirely representative of the paper as a whole which I still believe is similiar to the NY Post. The front page story that Oliver was holding in Lois' apartment in 'Arrow' had a completely legitimate story. It's was something like unions or a strike or something.
Also Metropolis is not a one newspaper town yet the one paper other than the DP that gets numerous mentions is the Inquisitor and that's before Lois began working there. I don't believe the Metropolis Journal has been mentioned since the episode about the reporter who did her story on Lex. It wouldn't make much sense for the DP to be seen as the rival to the "Weekly World News" Inquisitor. Although a more sensationalist Inquisitor would make sense. Also why would Chloe even both to know the top reporter for the SV version of the "Weekly World News" unless it is a legitimate rival for stories.
I for one loved the idea of Lois starting out at a tabloid but I was disappointed that they didn't flesh out her time there more. I also loved that in 'Prototype' Lois began to see the disadvantages of being associated with a newspaper that is known for its unscrupulous practices. Tabloids have broken their share of stories but it's their presentation that leaves much to be desired.
It's my opinion that the writers are reluctant to let any of their characters have a storyline that doesn't eventually lead back to main storyline of the season. ED's episodes are so limited that they don't waste her, for lack of a better word, on an independent journalism storyline. So no Lois catching wind of a scandal in city hall and trying to uncover it or corruption within the ranks of a philanthropic organization. The last season 7 episode of Smallville that I've seen is 'Cure' but I have caught a few clips on YouTube and one of them was from 'Wrath' I believe that it had Lois peddling an inner-city gang story to Grant and later there was a story about a philandering politician. I really wish they'd have Lois pursuing those stories on-screen rather than us just seeing her final result.
Yet I still like the Lois at a tabloid idea and I think it makes sense. Chloe's progression has been well documented in SV. She did everything right and by the book and she expects to be rewarded for her hard work. She worked for the school paper, got internships, and was working towards a degree. It's the path that a large number of journalists take.
Lois, in contrast, comes in through the back door and shows an alternative way into journalism. It's in no way a pristine world but a rather ugly one. It's unfortunate that they don't delve more into that because apparently unless meteor freaks or Lex's Super Soldiers are involved then it's not worth it. I guess I have to fill in the blanks on Lois' muckraking training ground myself. I wonder what I can do to jump start my long stalled Journalism!Clark story. It has small subplot with Lois working on an investigative piece for the Inquisitor.