In recent years, it feels like Taylor Swift is everywhere. Whether it’s her highly successful Eras Tour or the steady release of her re-recorded Taylor’s Version albums, the cultural impact of Swift is undeniable.
So, when Gannett, the biggest newspaper chain in the U.S., posted a job notice for a full-time Taylor Swift reporter in September, it just made sense.
As expected, the posting also triggered a tsunami of applications from eager Swift fans vying for the first-of-its-kind position. (Even a “very established White House reporter” allegedly threw their hat in the ring, according to a Gannett executive.)
On Monday, Variety finally confirmed West — a 35-year-old self-proclaimed Swiftie — landed the coveted gig.
West, who recently moved from Arizona to Nashville, will be working out of The Tennessean newsroom and will have his work published in USA Today, as well as Gannett’s more than 200 local dailies.
West will have to be Fearless in his reporting, especially when combatting those who don’t believe the Swift beat is worthwhile.
“I would say this position’s no different than being a sports journalist who’s a fan of the home team,” West told Variety.
“I’m just a fan of Taylor and I have followed her whole career, but I also have that journalistic background: going to Northwestern, winning awards, working in newsrooms across the nation,” he explained. “I think that’s the fun of this job is that, yeah, you can talk Easter eggs, but it really is more of the seriousness, like the impact that she has on society and business and music.”
As part of his application, West submitted a video outlining 13 reasons why he should be hired for the reporting job — an homage to the singer’s lucky set of numbers.
In the five-minute video, West’s rationale included his experience in fast-paced news environments, his ability to report without bias and, of course, his love for Swift. (West joked his infatuation with Swift is so strong that he thought he “could be straight” after posing with the singer at a 2018 meet-and-greet).
West told Variety his love for Swift is so strong, it’s even earned him a reputation among his former newsroom colleagues.
“The newscasters would make fun of me, saying things like, ‘We’re surprised Bryan didn’t call in sick to work today because Taylor released a new album,’” he recalled.
All in all, it sounds like West is the right man for the job. Hopefully the other applicants won’t harbour any bad blood.
After announcing the Taylor Swift reporting position, Gannett also put a call out for a full-time journalist to cover all things Beyoncé. The role has yet to be filled.
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