Want to work as a Taylor Swift reporter?

The Daily Reader

September 13, 2023

On Tuesday, Gannett posted a job for one of the newspapers included in its USA Today network, The Tennessean, with a peculiar beat: Taylor Swift.

Gannett oversees the single largest portfolio of newspapers in the U.S. and has a reputation of undervaluing its journalists. I’m used to reading about layoffs at Gannett papers, and I’m accustomed to arts and culture jobs disappearing across the country due to attrition. 

I find it fascinating that a news organization that’s not known for investing in journalism is hiring for a role dedicated to following a single artist.

Yes, Taylor Swift’s recent Eras Tour has generated billions of dollars. This is notable enough that people with no grasp of music know it’s important to cover Taylor Swift. She’s a cottage industry. She’s also not the only musician who records and performs. I suspect I’ll spend a lot of time thinking about what Gannett is sacrificing in order to focus on a single tentpole artist. 

Is it important that the single largest newspaper organization dedicate reporting funding to Taylor Swift? Certainly. But what is the cost of making that a single job? The Tennessean operates out of Nashville, an internationally renowned music town; how will this affect the newspaper’s ability to report on the rest of the city’s music scenes? And what do people in towns whose newspapers suffer from malnourishment because of Gannett ownership get in the event that the little music news they’ll receive will be about a Taylor Swift tour that doesn’t stop in their town?


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Issue of
Sept. 7 – 20, 2023
Vol. 52, No 24


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