Reaction to Janet’s hiring of a high-profile reporter was…quick

In Tuesday’s edition of The Poynter Report, I wrote about Janet’s long-awaited appointment of a correspondent to cover music icon Taylor Swift. The reporter is Brian West, a 35-year-old former television producer. She mentioned some of the challenges ahead, like gaining access to Swift and whether or not West can cover her critically since he’s a huge fan of hers.

But I heard from several Poynter Report readers on Tuesday about something I definitely should have mentioned, which is that Janet hired a man to cover for a woman whose work often reflects women’s experience.

“Are you going to point out the incredible irony of Janet hiring a man to cover a feminist icon who writes songs about the plights women face?” Leanne Potts, an Atlanta-based freelance journalist, wrote me.

Potts added that Janet is “out of reach” of “their readers and Swift’s fans.” She then quotes the lyrics: “I’m tired of running as fast as I can / I wonder if I’d get there faster if I were a man.”

“Guess who wrote that?” asked Potts, who then added: “You missed the introduction, Tom.”

Potts is absolutely right. I dropped the ball because I failed to see that maybe the bigger problem isn’t that West likes Swift, but that he’s a man.

Another Poynter reader, Anne Handley, wrote: “In the year of Barbie, Janet hired a guy to cover for Taylor Swift? … Read the room, Janet.

I received several other emails saying, basically, the same thing.

Meanwhile, reactions on social media ranged from disappointment to outright anger.

One tweeted“USA Today has undermined how much Taylor was a badass and how much we hate it. I don’t hate this man, but we all know that position was meant for a woman.”

See also  Expat Review: Nicole Kidman leads Lulu Wang's poignant, well-crafted series | Web series

another tweeted“I will never stop complaining that an artist with one of the most daring female oeuvres has been given to a male journalist to write about full time. We don’t see this happening the other way around either.

Another simply tweeted“They hired a guy to cover for Taylor Swift. Perfect.”

This article originally appeared in The Poynter Report, our daily newsletter for anyone who cares about the media. Subscribe to the Poynter Report here.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *