Who run the world? Taylor Swift and Beyoncé, apparently.
Both pop stars will be getting the presidential treatment at USA Today and The Tennessean. The nation’s largest newspaper is looking to hire beat reporters whose sole job will be following every movement each pop star makes, the same way journalists will be following Biden and Trump on the campaign trail in the next year. Both positions offer pay of roughly $21.63 to $50.87 an hour, depending on your standom; that’s about $45,000 to $106,000 a year, if each reporter were able to turn it into a full-time job.
For the Swift position, the newspapers’ parent company, Gannett Co., Inc., wants “an experienced, video-forward journalist to capture the music and cultural impact of Taylor Swift.” The job listing explains: “Swift’s fanbase has grown to unprecedented heights, and so has the significance of her music and growing legacy. 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. 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.”
The main thrust of the position seems to be to “chronicle the biggest moments on the next portions of Taylor Swift’s tour.”
“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,” Kristin Roberts, Gannett’s chief content officer, told The New York Times about the Swift listing. “She is shaping a generation and is relevant, influential and innovative — just like us.”
For the Queen Bey, Gannett wants “a reporter to chronicle the music, fashion, cultural and economic influence of Beyoncé.” A listing, less detailed than Swift’s, states: “The international superstar and icon’s impact is felt across generations. She has been a force in everything from how the country views race to how women think about their partners. We are looking for an energetic and enterprising writer, capable of a text and video-forward approach, who can capture Beyoncé Knowles-Carter’s effect not only on the many industries in which she operates, but also on society.”
Almost like a military reporter, a Beyoncé writer must be prepared for battle: “The successful candidate also will tap into stories about the Beyhive, her protective fanbase that propels the image and relevance of the artist.” Similar to Swift, the Beyoncé reporter would “chronicle the next big moments of Beyoncé’s career, from the end of her Renaissance tour and its $1 billion in sales to her next ventures and endeavors.”
“Taylor Swift and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter are artists and businesswoman whose work have tremendous economic and societal significance,” Gannett Chief Communications Officer Lark-Marie Antón tells Rolling Stone. “As Beyoncé and Taylor continue to influence multiple industries and our culture, they are shaping a generation. Our role at the USA TODAY Network is to cover the newsmakers who impact lives across the nation in the communities we serve and provide our audience the content they crave.”
In addition to formal résumés, candidates are expected to tender video cover letters, so if you’re thinking of applying, realize that Swifties and the Beyhive around the world will likely know your face if you cross their favorite artists.
We’re talking about fanbases that can smash AMC box-office records, break Ticketmaster, and spend $5,000 to experience all the Eras. If Swifties are fine doing this to their hero, imagine how they’ll react to criticism about her.
And just look at what happened in Pittsburgh when Beyoncé canceled a concert there.
The job listings, posted this week, arrive months after Gannett laid off about six percent of its 3,440-person U.S. media division, according to the Times. Antón tells Rolling Stone the company has hired 225 journalists and has more than 100 open roles.
This story was updated at 1:05 p.m. on Sept. 13 to reflect Lark-Marie Antón’s statement.