It’s all the news that’s Swift to print.
Major newspaper publisher Gannett is hiring a “Taylor Swift reporter” who in the company’s wildest dreams would “quench an undeniable thirst for all things” tied to the pop star — even as the company has laid off hundreds of journalists covering local communities in recent years.
Gannett’s flagship newspaper, USA Today, and the Nashville-based Tennessean posted the job listing Tuesday where the most in-style candidate will be able to “capture the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift.”
“We are looking for an energetic writer, photographer and social media pro who can quench an undeniable thirst for all things Taylor Swift with a steady stream of content across multiple platforms,” the surreal listing states.
“Seeing both the facts and the fury, the Taylor Swift reporter will identify why the pop star’s influence only expands, what her fanbase stands for in pop culture, and the effect she has across the music and business worlds.”
Gannett cautioned that while the newspaper is looking for a journalist with a voice, it doesn’t want someone with a bias. And it wants someone who knows all too well how to “quickly cultivate a national audience through smart content designed to meet readers on their terms.”
The job appears to involve international travel with Swift’s global “Eras” tour starting later this year.
“We listen to our readers and they can’t get enough of Taylor Swift,” USA Today Senior Director of Innovation and Experimentation Bill Cannon tweeted. “So, yes, we really are looking for a Taylor Swift reporter.”
But not everyone was a lover of the new job opportunity, especially after the company cut editors, reporters and photographers through layoffs and attrition.
Gannett ended 2022 with about 14,200 overall employees, a decrease from the 16,300 at the end of 2021, USA Today reported. In addition to USA Today, Gannett, which owns more than 200 daily newspapers, is the nation’s largest newspaper chain, according to Poynter.
“At a time when local news is under unprecedented pressure, The Tennessean is hiring a reporter to cover Taylor Swift,” Nashville Banner editor Steve Cavendish tweeted. “I am not making this up.”
“Hiring a full time Taylor Swift reporter while using AI for high school football is such a funny Gannett thing,” tweeted Kalon Fullerton of the Pittsburg Morning Sun in Kansas, referencing the publisher experimenting with artificial intelligence to write up high school sporting events.
“This from a newspaper chain that has laid off thousands of serious journalists,” retired Columbus Dispatch senior reporter Randy Ludlow tweeted while sharing the job posting.
And Ledger News Guild tweeted, “Local Gannett newspaper don’t have enough reporters to cover basic, daily, non-Taylor Swift news, but OK.”
Other social media users were more enthusiastic and needed to calm down.
“Dream jobs do exist,” Fox Baltimore journalist Mikenzie Frost tweeted.
“Going to journalism school just to become a Taylor Swift reporter would rule,” Arizona State University journalism student Zach Wargo tweeted.
To fill USA Today’s blank space, the reporter needs to have at least five years of experience and “proven success in creating relevant, shareable stories that serve a loyal audience.”
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