News & Politics

Taylor Swift Reporting Job: Will a Legally Blonde-Inspired Video Win a Maryland Woman the Gig?

Watch a local applicant's homage to Elle Woods's Harvard video essay.

Photograph by Starstock/

Freelance photojournalist Lexi Thompson knows she’ll have to stand out if she wants to land Gannett’s wildly hyped Taylor Swift reporter gig. After all, apparently a swarm of people have already applied for the job, which would entail covering Swift for USA Today and the Tennessean, a Nashville-based news outlet. 

Thompson at the Eras Tour earlier this year. She photographed Swift’s Santa Clara concert for Shutter Hub Media. Photograph courtesy of Lexi Thompson.

The 24-year-old, who lives in Hunt Valley, Maryland, sent in her application the day the job was posted with a general video listing her professional accomplishments. Then she began to mull it over. She didn’t have traditional newsroom experience—would she be qualified? How could she make the hiring managers notice her amongst the hordes of resumé-stacked applicants?

That’s when she decided to film another application video and post it to TikTok, tagging USA Today and the Tennessean. This one draws inspiration from another figure who pluckily defied all the odds to accomplish her goals: Yes, we are referring to the one and only Elle Woods.


If Elle Woods can use this video to get into Harvard, it should get me an interview with @USA TODAY @Tennessean #swifttok #taylorswift #photography #legallyblonde #videography #LTPhotography @Taylor Swift

♬ original sound – Lexi thompson

Thompson’s second video is an homage to the taped essay the Legally Blonde heroine sends in to Harvard, complete with an opening shot of Thompson in a hot tub and plenty of quotes inspired by the movie. (“I feel comfortable using writer’s jargon in everyday life!,” says the photojournalist in her video, strolling toward the camera.) “That scene is just iconic,” says Thompson. “It burns a hole in your mind.”

Plus she likes the message behind Woods’s journey to Harvard—like Thompson, she had an non-traditional background, but she went for it anyway: “She was very underestimated in her field and ended up bringing her own spin to it.”

Thompson hasn’t heard anything from the hiring managers since she sent in her application and then posted the follow-up video, but she’s remaining upbeat. “Realistically, I know how many people are applying for it, so the chances of me getting it are slim,” she says. “But I’m still hopeful. And I think that I would do great if I were to get it.”

After all, someone’s got to snag the role. What, like it’s hard?

Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Home & Features Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. She’s written for The Washington Post, Garden & Gun, Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Del Ray.