Business & EconomyGannett recruits star reporters for in-depth pop culture coverage

Gannett recruits star reporters for in-depth pop culture coverage

Gannett, the United States’ largest newspaper chain, is shaking up the media landscape by seeking dedicated reporters for pop icons Taylor Swift and Beyoncé Knowles-Carter. These unique job listings have sparked both enthusiasm and skepticism within the journalism community, raising questions about the future of local news coverage.

Gannett, the parent company of over 200 daily newspapers, including USA Today and The Tennessean, is on the hunt for what they describe as “modern storytellers.”

Michael Anastasi, Gannett’s Vice President for Local News explained that “Beyond traditional reporting, these positions require individuals skilled in print, audio, and visual journalism. The Taylor Swift reporter will delve into the ever-expanding influence of the pop sensation, deciphering her significance in pop culture and her impact on the music and business worlds. Similarly, we are seeking a journalist who can capture the profound societal and industry effects of Beyoncé Knowles-Carter.”

Gannett critics

While this move reflects the undeniable influence of these artists in pop culture, it hasn’t been without its share of critics. Some argue that this decision comes at a time when local journalism is struggling, with layoffs and attrition plaguing the workforce at Gannett, which has decreased by 47% over the past three years.

Rick Edmonds, an expert at the journalism think-tank Poynter Institute, raised concerns about this apparent shift in priorities within Gannett. “At a time when so much serious news and local reporting is being cut, it’s a decision that raises some questions about,” he remarked.

Superfans or journalists?

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Some journalists remain critical of these positions, perceiving them as glorified superfans rather than serious journalists. Music writer Jeremy Gordon expressed his reservations on social media, stating that it “doesn’t feel great to see ‘full-time stan’ go out as an actual journalism job,” highlighting the slang term “stan” as meaning “superfan.”

The success of these new roles ultimately hinges on the reporters’ ability to strike a balance between fandom and journalistic integrity. If they can navigate the intricacies of these tightly controlled operations and extract meaningful insights, they may establish themselves as national authorities on these iconic cultural figures.

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