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Gannett Is Looking for a Taylor Swift Reporter

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Gannett Is Looking for a Taylor Swift Reporter

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

As Swift’s prominence grows throughout her record-breaking tour, Gannett mentioned it was in search of a reporter who may seize the importance of her music, in addition to her “growing legacy” and “the effect she has across the music and business worlds.”

The reporter could be writing for USA Today 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surrounded Swift, whose cultural resonance appears to deepen with every album, together with the re-recordings of her outdated music.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 succeed in a brand new viewers and criticism over how the corporate has laid off native journalists lately.

Kristin Roberts, Gannett’s chief content material officer, mentioned in an announcement on Tuesday night time that the USA Today Network, which the corporate owns, is dedicated to serving its readers with important journalism, and that “includes providing our audience with content they crave.”

“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,” Ms. Roberts mentioned. “She is shaping a generation and is relevant, influential and innovative — just like us.”

Newspapers usually make use of music critics and leisure reporters, however hardly ever 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. Although 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 effectively into 2024, Swift’s gross sales may 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. Last December, Gannett minimize about 6 % of the corporate’s roughly 3,440-person U.S. media division. Media analysts mentioned the transfer may worsen the state of the native news business, which has shrunk lately, creating data deserts in communities throughout the nation.

Laura D. Testino, a reporter for Chalkbeat Tennessee, mentioned on X, previously often called Twitter, that whereas Nashville is getting a Swift reporter, “Memphis is still without an investigative reporter.”

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

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

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

“I think the question that comes to mind for me is which fandoms and which moments of connection are taken more seriously,” Ms. Jagota mentioned. “And Taylor Swift’s fandom is very white. It’s a lot of white women.”

Robert Thompson, the director of the Bleier Center for Television and Popular Culture at Syracuse University, mentioned on Tuesday that such a hiring “is not as absurd as it looks at first glance.”

In an more and more fragmented cultural setting, “where mass culture has broken up into a million little pieces,” he mentioned, there may be an elevated worth to the one factor that emerges that primarily everybody can touch upon.

“You cannot be conscious in the United States without on some level having to come to grips with Taylor Swift,” Dr. Thompson mentioned. Covering somebody like her, he added, is a “perfectly sound activity for a journalist to be doing.”

Source web site: www.nytimes.com