The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

The oldest continuously published high school newspaper in America

The Willistonian, Est. 1881

Taylor Swift Takes Home “Person of the Year” Award

Credit: IMDb

Taylor Swift’s nomination as TIME‘s Person of the Year has raised the question of what really counts as noteworthy accomplishments.

On Dec. 5, Swift was named Time‘s 2023 “Person of the Year,” becoming the 95th person named since the first year this distinction was given out in 1927.

The “Person of the Year” is selected by a small group of writers and journalists over three months, from September to early December. The process begins with pitches from all TIME employees followed by a condensed list being brought before a committee. Typically, the “People’s Poll” is sent out after a first draft short list has been formed.

The last five “People of the Year” were The Guardians, (Jamal Khashoggi, Maria Ressa, Wa Lone, Kyaw Soe Oon, and the Capital staff) in 2018; Greta Thunberg in 2019; Joe Biden and Kamala Harris in 2020; Elon Musk in 2021; and Ukraine’s President, Volodymyr Zelensky, in 2022.

This begs the question: does the sparkly, proclaimed “Queen of Pop” deserve a spot on the same podium?

Swift has been in discussion for the award since her contributions to U.S. tourism and the economy through the success of her “Eras Tour” became apparent to non-fans.

According to a Washington Post article on Swift’s economic impact, an estimated $5.7 billion dollar boost to the economy occurred solely due to Swift’s tour. An average of $93 million dollars was spent by consumers per show: a combination of ticket sales, merchandise, and concessions. For reference, that’s just enough to send $440 dollars to each person in the state of Pennsylvania.

The tour began in March, 2023 in Arizona and is currently on a break, planning to start up again on its international leg in Tokyo on February 7.

The complexity of the Eras Tour dates to last November, when presale frenzy caused the entire Ticketmaster site to crash, causing millions of fans to condemn Swift’s motives and the system of online vending.

Ticketmaster cited unprecedented traffic for the cause of the website crash that resulted in the general sale of tickets to be cancelled, leaving only those who had gotten presale access the ability to buy tickets. It was announced shortly after the congressional hearing in February that Ticketmaster’s parent company, LiveNation, was being investigated by the Justice Department.

A major dispute among Swift and live music fans alike was the topic of ticket prices, and the level of control Ticketmaster has over the set amounts. Ticketmaster claimed that the artists control prices, but singer and songwriter Clyde Lawrence debunked that during his statement at the congressional hearing.

“To be clear, we have absolutely zero say or visibility into how much these fees will be,” Lawrence testified in February. “We find out the same way as everyone else, by logging onto Ticketmaster once the show already goes on sale.”

Nick Sobon, a senior from Granby, Mass., thinks Swift’s new title is justified.

“Never has an artist ever been recognized at that level, which is astounding,” Nick, who attended Swift’s May 21 show at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., said. “If we look at overall the impact on the economy and the demand that she provides, it is insane…..Why she is so popular is because people find refuge in her words.”

Nick finds Swift’s lyrics very inspiring, which he considers a major factor in her success.

“Her songwriting is very honest, brutal, it talks about the broken parts of life which need to be discussed, I think that’s why so many people gravitate towards her,” he explained.

Ford dorm parent, math teacher, and junior class dean Chris Tanguay, however, doesn’t understand the hype.

“She probably deserves it, but I think there have been more impactful people this year,” Tanguay said. “She flies her private jet everywhere and contributes heavily to carbon emissions.”

The carbon emissions of Swift’s two-multimillion-dollar private jets in 2022 came to around 8,293.54 tons of CO2, about 1,200 times the carbon footprint of the average American, according to The Paisano, the independent student newspaper of the University of Texas San Antonio.

It has since been revealed that Swift has bought over double the number of carbon credits to her number of carbon emissions, which according to, “permits that allow the owner to emit a certain amount of carbon dioxide or other greenhouse gases.” Swift has been one of the main targets of conversations surrounding celebrity contributions to global warming.

Among Swift’s competitors for “Person of the Year” were Sam Altman, the founder of OpenAi; Barbie; China’s President Xi Jinping and Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin. Main critics of Swift’s selection question the need to elevate more white women, and wonder how her contributions compare to the world leaders that she has been put beside.

Despite her critiques, Swift continues to move forward with her head high and eyes set on the next year as it holds tens of more tour dates and promises of new music.

She acknowledges the doubts, and uses that to fuel her fire. In her TIME interview, Swift said, “I’ve learned there’s no point in actively trying to quote unquote defeat your enemies,” referencing the multiple naysayers and people who have tried to take her down.

“Trash takes itself out every single time,” she said.

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    Alexis CJan 6, 2024 at 7:27 PM

    Fabulous article Teagan!!