Gannett Is Looking for a Taylor Swift Reporter

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Gannett, the most important newspaper chain in the US, introduced on Tuesday that it might rent a reporter to cowl one of many greatest names in music: Taylor Swift.

As Swift’s prominence grows throughout her record-breaking tour, Gannett stated it was searching for a reporter who might seize the importance of her music, in addition to her “rising legacy” and “the impact she has throughout the music and enterprise worlds.”

The reporter could be writing for USA Right now and The Tennessean, the writer’s newspaper in Nashville, the place Swift started her profession as a rustic darling earlier than promoting out stadiums throughout North America on her record-breaking Eras Tour.

The job displays the frenzied fandom that has surrounded Swift, whose cultural resonance appears to deepen with every album, together with the re-recordings of her previous music. Her followers have spent hundreds of {dollars} on live performance tickets and shook the bottom so onerous at one live performance that it registered as an earthquake on a seismometer close to Seattle.

Reactions to the job posting have been blended, together with reward for Gannett for making an attempt to achieve a brand new viewers and criticism over how the corporate has laid off native journalists lately.

Kristin Roberts, Gannett’s chief content material officer, stated in an announcement on Tuesday night time that the USA Right now Community, which the corporate owns, is dedicated to serving its readers with important journalism, and that “contains offering our viewers with content material they crave.”

“As Taylor Swift’s fan base has grown to unprecedented heights, so has the affect of her music and rising legacy — not solely on the business however on our tradition,” Ms. Roberts stated. “She is shaping a technology and is related, influential and modern — identical to us.”

Newspapers typically make use of music critics and leisure reporters, however not often assign a reporter to cowl a single artist.

The recognition of Swift, although, has proved to be a strong drive over the summer time, culturally and economically.

A Federal Reserve survey of enterprise contacts reported that Swift followers, or Swifties, had bolstered resort revenues within the Philadelphia area. Though Swift, 33, and her promoters don’t publicly report box-office figures, the commerce publication Pollstar estimates that she has been promoting about $14 million in tickets every night time. By the top of her deliberate world tour, which is booked with 146 stadium dates nicely into 2024, Swift’s gross sales might attain $1.4 billion or extra — exceeding Elton John’s $939 million for his multiyear farewell tour, the present record-holder.

Some journalists expressed concern about Gannett’s reporting priorities. Final December, Gannett lower about 6 % of the corporate’s roughly 3,440-person U.S. media division. Media analysts stated the transfer might worsen the state of the native information business, which has shrunk lately, creating info deserts in communities throughout the nation.

Laura D. Testino, a reporter for Chalkbeat Tennessee, stated on X, previously generally known as Twitter, that whereas Nashville is getting a Swift reporter, “Memphis remains to be with out an investigative reporter.”

Gannett has employed 225 journalists since March and now has greater than 100 open roles, Ms. Roberts stated.

Vrinda Jagota, a music author who has reported on Swift’s cultural significance, stated in an interview on Tuesday that whereas Swift is a posh pop icon worthy of journalistic evaluation, there are different stars who’re simply as huge, comparable to Beyoncé.

The Beyoncé album “Renaissance,” for instance, has resonated with many Black and L.G.B.T.Q. folks, she stated.

“I believe the query that involves thoughts for me is which fandoms and which moments of connection are taken extra severely,” Ms. Jagota stated. “And Taylor Swift’s fandom could be very white. It’s loads of white ladies.”

Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Heart for Tv and Fashionable Tradition at Syracuse College, stated on Tuesday that such a hiring “will not be as absurd because it seems to be at first look.”

In an more and more fragmented cultural surroundings, “the place mass tradition has damaged up into 1,000,000 little items,” he stated, there’s an elevated worth to the one factor that emerges that primarily everybody can touch upon.

“You can’t be acutely aware in the US with out on some degree having to come back to grips with Taylor Swift,” Dr. Thompson stated. Masking somebody like her, he added, is a “completely sound exercise for a journalist to be doing.”

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