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Meet Bryan West, The Reporter Who Writes About Taylor Swift For A Living

Many fans of pop superstar Taylor Swift spend more time than they can measure tracking the singer’s every move. In 2023 alone, Swift seemed to make headlines every day. Fans took note of each show on her record-breaking Eras Tour, each Chiefs football game she attended to cheer on her boyfriend, Travis Kelce, and each jaw-dropping awards ceremony look. Fans also spent weeks on social media trying to decode the dozens of Easter eggs that led to the release of two separate re-recorded albums, Speak Now and 1989. Swifties spend so much time engaging with the icon, and one lucky journalist was able to turn his experience as a fan of hers into a full-time job.

Bryan West became the official Taylor Swift Reporter for USA Today and The Tennessean in November 2023. West is a graduate of the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University, and equally as important, he’s a lifelong Swiftie. “When I graduated high school in 2006, she had just released ‘Tim McGraw,’” West shares in an exclusive interview with Her Campus. His fandom was officially cemented when he saw her ACM Awards performance of “Should’ve Said No” in 2007. “As soon as she went up the harmony… I was just like, who is this girl?”

After graduating from college, West worked in journalism for over 10 years before taking a break from the industry in 2018. “I had joked when I left news [that] the only way I would come back is if I could report on Taylor Swift every day,” West says. After learning about the opening for a Taylor Swift Reporter role in September 2023, a friend of West’s sent him the application. In order to stand out among the competition, West submitted a video with 13 reasons why he should be hired for the position.

Naturally, the Taylor Swift Reporter job listing went viral — hundreds of applicants were hoping for a chance to report on their favorite singer. West shared that the hiring process included a video submission and a 40-minute panel interview. “From there, they picked the top four, and we had to do a writing test and a social media video component,” West shares. The process took about two months altogether. 

West found out the position was his in the middle of an F1 race. He was working as a marshall for the race when he got the call. “I was in between races, standing on the track, which is super loud, and I get a call from an unknown number,” he says. Knowing he only had a few minutes before the next race started, West anxiously answered the call and found out he had landed the role. He told his new boss, “Hey, I’m at an F1 race, is it OK if I call you back? Thank you so much, I’m so excited, OK bye!”

As you can imagine, the job of Taylor Swift reporter doesn’t follow a 9-5 schedule, and some days are more hectic than others. West told Her Campus about the whirlwind days he has had in this position, including a day in November where there were multiple Taylor-related breaking news stories all at once. “I woke up at 2 a.m. and wrote [the story about the fan passing away at the Eras Tour in Brazil],” West shares. He then had to drive two hours and conduct an interview for a different piece. As he was driving back to Nashville, Swift had announced a show cancellation. “I pull off to the side of the road at some random Tennessee Shell station, I’m using my phone as a hotspot, and I’m writing this story,” he says. Around 30 minutes later, West had to pull over again to make edits to his article after new information about the concert rescheduling was released. “You never know what you’re getting into,” West says of his chaotic work days, “but that’s what’s so fun and exciting about this position.”

Being in his role, West truly does it all. Along with writing articles, he sets up his own interviews, shoots and edits his own stories, pilots his own drone, and makes his own graphics and animations. “I’m a one-man band,” West smiles.

Swifties would be excited to know that yes, West has met Swift before, and yes, it was as amazing as he imagined it would be. West heard from Swift’s team when she was on her Reputation Tour in 2018 when he was working as a journalist, and they informed him the singer wanted to meet him. West had to make a lasting impression. “My idea was to go to Walgreens, print out a headshot, and sign it, ‘From your favorite local news reporter,’” West says. Of course, Swift loved it. “They always say, ‘Don’t meet your heroes,’ but working in news for more than a decade, there were two people who exceeded my already-high expectations: Garth Brooks and Taylor Swift,” West says.

With Swift rolling through her international Eras Tour dates (West’s dream surprise songs are “Fifteen” from Fearless and “Death By A Thousand Cuts” from Lover) and making never-ending headlines with her NFL beau Travis Kelce (“I think they’re endgame because Taylor thinks they’re endgame,” West tells me), there will be no shortage of Swift news in 2024 — especially considering there are still two albums she has yet to announce the re-releases for: reputation (Taylor’s Version) and her debut album, Taylor Swift

For months, fans have been speculating that a re-recording of Swift’s sixth studio album was in the works. West, like many Swifties, believes the re-recording announcement is coming in February. “The reason for that,” he tells Her Campus, “is the ‘Karma’ music video.” Her left thumbnail is painted blue and pointed at the eight on the clock, and her right nail is painted black next to the two. The color blue is associated with Swift’s album 1989, and black is associated with reputation.“As soon as she announced 1989 in August, that’s when I thought, [the reputation announcement] was going to be in February,” West says. Regardless of when it drops, he’ll be there for all of it.

If you’re wondering how to land a coveted job like his, West has a meaningful piece of advice. “Let them say no,” he says. “So much, in our head, we build up, ‘My parents are going to say no, or my teachers.’ If I ask for this job or internship, they’re going to say no. Well, let them.” West references Wayne Gretsky’s quote, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take,” saying that even when applying for his current job, he thought they would say no. “It’s those moments that they say yes that truly change your life.”

Jordyn Stapleton has been a National Lifestyle Writer for Her Campus since February 2023. She covers a variety of topics in her articles, but is most passionate about writing about mental health and social justice issues. Jordyn graduated from CU Boulder in December 2022 with Bachelor’s degrees in music and psychology with a minor in gender studies and a certificate in public health. Jordyn was involved in Her Campus during college, serving as an Editorial Assistant and later Editor-in-Chief for the CU Boulder chapter. She has also worked as a freelance stringer for the Associated Press. Jordyn is currently taking a gap year and working at a local business in Boulder, with hopes of attending graduate school in fall 2024. Jordyn enjoys reading, bullet journalling, and listening to (preferably Taylor Swift) music in her free time. If she isn’t brainstorming her next article, you can usually find her exploring coffee shops or hiking trails around Boulder with her friends.