Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

Northwestern University and Evanston's Only Daily News Source Since 1881

The Daily Northwestern

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Medill alum Bryan West hired as Gannett’s Taylor Swift reporter

Illustration by Shveta Shah
Bryan West, Gannett’s new Taylor Swift reporter, graduated from the Medill School of Journalism in 2011 and went on to a career in broadcast news.

Two months after a job listing for a full-time Taylor Swift reporter went viral, Gannett — the biggest newspaper chain in the country — has selected Northwestern alum Bryan West (Medill ’11) for the coveted gig.

West, 35, joined The Tennessean — part of the USA Today network — Monday to report on Swift’s cultural and economic impact.

“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,” read the Gannett listing, posted in September.

While an undergraduate at the Medill School of Journalism, West reported for the Northwestern News Network and interned at the TODAY show and NBC News.

He then went on to work as a planning producer for NBC affiliate KPNX in Phoenix, general assignment reporter and investigative producer. There, West and his colleagues were honored with an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award for an investigative series on the Phoenix Fire Department’s arson unit.

West, a two-time Emmy Award-winning producer, describes himself on his website as “an avid CrossFitter, hiker, Swiftie and F1 fan.”

“I’m just a fan of Taylor and I have followed her her whole career, but I also have that journalistic background: going to Northwestern, winning awards, working in newsrooms across the nation,” West said in an exclusive interview published Monday in Variety.

In a video cover letter submitted for his application, West listed 13 reasons he is the right fit for the job — a nod to Swift’s lucky number.

A Gannett representative told The Daily that West will not be available for additional media interviews as he onboards for the new position.

“Taylor Swift is a singular cultural force who is shaping our world in arguably unprecedented fashion,” Michael Anastasi, editor of The Tennessean and vice president of local news at Gannett, said in a statement. “Chronicling her story, her impact, her influence takes unique expertise and experience and we’re confident Bryan is the right journalist for this moment.”

Anastasi said while the applicant pool included many qualified candidates, including seasoned hard-news reporters, “Swiftie” bloggers, and “at least one very established White House reporter,” Gannett ultimately selected West because of his balance of reporting experience and knowledge about the world of Swift’s career and fanbase.

According to Variety, West will be present at the 2023 Country Music Association Awards in Nashville Wednesday in his capacity as a reporter.

Email: [email protected]

Twitter: @jacob_wendler

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