It’s coming up on Lois Romano‘s one-year anniversary as a senior political writer at Politico. Curiously, she has a grand total of 45 bylines since her move there last February from The Daily Beast.
Anyone familiar with the culture of Politico‘s newsroom knows that their writers are expected on an average day to file multiple stories, both long and short form. A search on Politico‘s website for Romano’s byline renders just over two pages of results. By comparison, a search for reporter Ben White‘s byline offers up more than 12 pages over the same time period (February 2012 to the present). In that time, White published 241 stories.
Lois is a well-known and respected reporter in Washington, having spent 28 years at WaPo. After that, but before joining Politico, she spent just under a year at The Daily Beast.
Why such a low number of bylines at a publication notorious for burning out reporters with its high productivity demands? We’ve requested comment from both Romano and Politico‘s Ombudsman and Editor-at-Large Bill Nichols. We also wrote Editor-in-Chief John Harris to inquire whether Romano has perhaps been on leave, whether for medical reasons or otherwise.
On average, Lois published four stories each month, peaking at nine stories in August last year.
Update: Harris got back to us… and said that this post “misses the mark, in a way that most people in Politico‘s newsroom, or most newsrooms I know of, would easily recognize.” He said that journalists at the publication often have different responsibilities from one another and that Romano has been “a valuable contributor to us, writing profiles and features and becoming a major player in our video efforts.” Asked to elaborate on “video efforts,” Harris said Romano is “frequently” on Politico‘s video programming. If we missed the mark here in that Romano is busier on the video side of things, it’s worth noting again that her title is “senior political writer,” according to her bio on the site.
A month-to-month breakdown of Romano’s stories in 2012…
This year, Romano has filed two stories.