The Future. Gannett, the largest newspaper chain in the US, has officially hired its dedicated Taylor Swift reporter: 35-year-old Bryan West. Saying West will be under the microscope is an understatement, but his ability to ride the line between respected journalist and major fan could thrust him into the national spotlight… and potentially even inspire other publications to hire their own artist-focused beat reporters, the way others have done for politicians and athletes.
On the beat
Bryan West hopes to ride the line between hard journalism and stan enthusiasm with his new position as the go-to guy on all things Swift for USA Today, The Tennessean, and Gannett’s over 200 local daily publications.
- He’s a legit journalist, having worked as a “one-man band” broadcast reporter for an NBC affiliate out of Phoenix and having won two Emmys, a Murrow, and a duPont.
- He’s a legit Swiftie, with on-air reporters literally ribbing him for all of his TSwift knowledge (which he compiled and sent to Gannett during the interview process).
In the role, West plans to shine a light on both the cultural and economic footprint Swift has, including pieces like her effect on the friendship bracelet industry (massive, we’re sure). And he says he’ll be critical of her if need be.
That’s something that may send Swifities into a tizzy — they already have their claws out, especially since he’s a man.
But there’s one thing that may quiet all of that down: if Swift gives him a rare interview.