Just one day after announcing they’re on the hunt for a reporter to cover all things Taylor Swift, America’s largest newspaper chain has now posted another niche reporting job, covering none other than Beyoncé.
According to the job listings, each writer will work principally for the Tennessean newspaper and USA Today, but their content will be distributed across the entire Gannett news chain.
And while it’s not rare for newspaper chains to hire entertainment critics and music reporters, it’s not often that a reporter is assigned to cover a single artist.
However, Beyoncé and Swift both hold a huge amount of cultural and economic sway and their fans – the Beyhive and Swifties, respectively – are known to financially bolster entire cities when the performers come to town.
“At this point, Taylor Swift is basically her own economy,” one Vanity Fair writer put it.
The impact of her tour has been felt in every city she has stopped at, selling out stadiums, gracing fans with a 44-song set list spanning her nearly two-decade-long career and injecting millions of dollars into local economies with the gravity of her star power.
In a Federal Reserve report published in July, the agency found that “May was the strongest month for hotel revenue in Philadelphia since the onset of the pandemic, in large part due to an influx of guests for the Taylor Swift concerts in the city.”
Performing just two shows in Colorado led to a US$140-million boost to the state’s GDP for the year, according to a report from the Common Sense Institute.
“The totality of Taylor Swift’s U.S. tour could generate $4.6 billion in total consumer spending, larger than the GDP of 35 countries,” the report states.
The qualifications for each Gannett job read the same, and each listing invites applicants with “a voice – but not a bias” to throw their resumes into the ring. The hire will be expected to report not just on the details and highlights of each singer’s tours, but also on their fanbase, their impact on the worlds of music and business, as well as their cultural relevance.
Each job requires the reporter to have a willingness to travel extensively, too.
And while the listings have excited many fans and budding journalists, there’s also been a fair share of blowback, with many pointing to Gannett’s extensive layoffs in recent years, which included shedding six per cent of its news division last December.
— with files from Global News’ Kathryn Mannie