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Changes are coming to the Washington Post‘s all-important city hall beats.
In mid-May, David Nakamura, who has covered Mayor Adrian M. Fenty since his 2007 inauguration, will leave town for a yearlong fellowship sponsored by the Council on Foreign Relations. Replacing him on full-time executive branch coverage around May 1 will be Nikita Stewart, who has covered the D.C. Council since May 2006.
Filling the Wilson Building void left by the shuffle will be Tim Craig, who currently covers the Virginia state house for the Post, and covered the Maryland state politics before that. Undoubtedly, the most exciting aspect of Craig’s appointment is the fact that he looks a lot like Fenty:
Post Metro editor Robert McCartney jokes that his reporters are now required to look more like the politicians they cover. “That was actually vital in our making this decision. We are also trying to find a reporter who looks Jack Johnson to cover Prince George’s County and a reporter who looks like Ike Leggett to cover Montgomery County….We’re comparing photographs and doing scans.”
McCartney says the division of labor between Stewart and Craig isn’t set in stone. “Sometimes Tim will be writing abut the mayor, and sometimes Nikita will be writing about the council,” he says.
Nakamura’s been on the city desk since 2002. He broke the WASA lead scandal in 2004, then spent two years covering the baseball stadium saga before hitting the mayoral beat. Now, he says, “I’m going as far away as humanly possible” (yuk yuk). He’ll be a fellow at the Keizai Koho Center in Tokyo. His Japanese is
meh-meh mah-mah, he says—-so-so. He’ll return to Metro when the fellowship ends.