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Journalists Call Out USA Today For Hiring Reporters to Cover Taylor Swift & Beyoncé

Journalists Call Out USA Today For Hiring Reporters to Cover Taylor Swift & Beyoncé

Taylor Swift; Beyoncé
Getty Images

Recent job postings from the Gannett-owned publication are sparking backlash from media professionals.

The 24/7 news cycle of a popstar.

On Tuesday, September 12, Gannett-owned publication USA Today shared an official job posting to hire a reporter that would write stories exclusively on Taylor Swift. The posting reads:

“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.”

One day later, on Wednesday, September 13, USA Today published a subsequent job posting looking to hire a reporter to cover Beyoncé Knowles-Carter on an exclusive basis. This job position is described as such:

“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. This reporter will identify why the star’s influence continues to expand and the effect it is having on the music and business worlds. The successful candidate also will tap into stories about the BeyHive, her protective fanbase that propels the image and relevance of the artist.”

USA Today job postings

USA Today via

Though these new positions sound fun and exciting if you’re a huge Swiftie or a part of the BeyHive, the job postings have sparked a lot of backlash from people who work in media – particularly in local news.

The owner of USA Today, Gannett, is the biggest newspaper chain in the United States with over 200 daily newspapers. According to AP News, Gannett reportedly “shrunk 47%” of its workforce in the last three years. At certain newspapers, the “headcount has fallen by as much as 90%.” In 2022, Gannett “cut about 6% of its roughly 3,440-person U.S. media division.”

As a result, journalists are calling out Gannett for hiring artist-specific reporters while failing to invest in much-needed local news, which is the core operation of the company. There are endless publications frantically covering popstars like Swift and Beyoncé, but local news outlets keep shrinking in size and resources.

It should be noted that the backlash to these job positions isn’t meant to personally criticize Swift or Beyoncé. Instead, these reactions are criticizing Gannett as a company for not having enough reporters to cover the very real issues happening in certain cities and counties, but finding resources to hire journalists that will cover one specific singer.

Scroll through to see some of the reactions to USA Today’s new job postings.

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