Gannett Finds Its Taylor Swift Reporter

Longtime 'fan-slash-expert' Bryan West will cover Swift beat for 'USA Today,' 'Tennessean'
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 13, 2023 12:45 PM CDT
Updated Nov 6, 2023 5:45 PM CST
Taylor Swift to Get Her Very Own Beat Reporter
Taylor Swift performs at Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, California, on July 28.   (Jessica Christian/San Francisco Chronicle via AP, FIle)
UPDATE Nov 6, 2023 5:45 PM CST

Gannett's search for a dedicated Taylor Swift reporter for the Tennessean and the wider USA Today network is over. Veteran journalist and confirmed Swiftie Bryan West, 35, was chosen from hundreds of applicants. His beat will include the superstar's music and tour news, along with her impact on business and cultural issues. West says that he has long been a Swift "fan-slash-expert" and that he developed a deeper connection with her music while fighting depression and alcohol addiction. "The past five years have taught me so many valuable lessons, like always clean your side of the street—which is a Taylor lyric, but it's from the sober community," West, who has been sober since 2018, tells the Tennessean. "I learned to take things one day at a time."

Sep 13, 2023 12:45 PM CDT

There's much ado made about Taylor Swift—her loves, broken records, seismic events, generosity on the road, and potential to keep the US out of a recession. The list goes on and on and on so long that the nation's largest newspaper company, which the New York Times notes has attracted no short amount of attention for sweeping layoffs at the local level over the years, is hiring a reporter to cover solely the Taylor Swift beat. It seems that Swift's record-shattering Eras Tour has attracted the attention of Gannett, which, noting "the effect she has across the music and business worlds," is now looking to hire a reporter to cover all things Swifty for its USA Today and Tennessean markets. That latter market is a nod to Swift's roots in Tennessee.

"As Taylor Swift's fan base has grown to unprecedented heights, so has the influence of her music and growing legacy—not only on the industry but on our culture," says a Gannett rep. "She is shaping a generation and is relevant, influential, and innovative—just like us." As the Guardian notes, the "Taylor Swift reporter" job showed up Tuesday in search of someone who is "experienced, video-forward" and good at expressing "the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift." The hourly rate is between $21.63 and $50.87, but it presumably includes lots of concert tickets. (More Taylor Swift stories.)

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