Sep 13, 2023 - Economy

Tennessean and USA Today hiring for Taylor Swift, Beyoncé beats

A composite image showing pictures of Taylor Swift and Beyonce at concerts this year.

Photos: John Shearer/Getty Images for TAS Rights Management, Kevin Mazur/WireImage for Parkwood

The Tennessean and USA Today announced this week that they were looking for reporters to cover two unconventional beats: Taylor Swift and Beyoncé.

Driving the news: "Swift's fanbase has grown to unprecedented heights, and so has the significance of her music and growing legacy," the job description for the Taylor Swift reporter stated.

  • "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 job description for the Beyoncé position called for a reporter who could capture Queen Bey's multigenerational influence.

  • "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."

Fine print: Superfans, don't quit your day jobs just yet. The descriptions for both jobs call for "a journalist with a voice — but not a bias."

State of play: The job postings have generated news coverage and some criticism from reporters who said the positions were a poor use of resources amid layoffs in local news.

  • A spokesperson for Gannett, which operates the Tennessean and USA Today, tells Axios the company has hired 260 journalists since March and has more than 100 open positions.

Zoom in: The two positions were described as joint roles for the Tennessean and USA Today. A Gannett spokesperson did not say why the jobs were tied to the Nashville daily.

  • Swift's Tennessee ties are obvious, but Beyoncé's local connection is unclear.

What they're saying: "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," spokesperson Lark-Marie Anton said in a statement.

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