From the editor: Birthday with the business people and ballplayers

April 17, 2011

I’ve worked for many different kinds of publications over my career, all focusing on different audiences, be they local, national or niche. Whether a publication is successful often depends on how well it connects to its readers.

You can’t fake it.

I’ve left some very good places simply because I had a hard time imagining whom I was writing for. Perhaps that’s why I have gravitated to local journalism over the years. I love the face-to-face interaction, and just as important, the accountability that comes from reporting and writing about things the audience knows a lot about.

Everyone is an expert on where he lives.

Capital Business celebrates its first year this week, and I have been in­cred­ibly invigorated by the opportunity to help launch a publication that serves the region’s unique business community.

We set out to redefine what it means to be a local business publication, and to start a conversation between the sectors and industries that populate our multi-state geography. At the same time, we sought to chronicle the entrepreneurial spirit that is reshaping our world.

Local business is not merely small business, although we do cover a lot of that. It is any enterprise operating in this area that is concerned about the well-being of the regional economy, big and small.

And there are lots of you out there, as I was reminded last week at a Greater Washington Board of Trade function in honor of the Washington Nationals baseball team. (Capital Business was a sponsor.)

All the ballplayers, coaches and management came in suits and ate lunch with attendees, who filled the Capital Hilton ballroom. This being spring, there was much optimism in the air.

After a week of fretting over government shutdowns and rising oil prices, there is something reassuring about seeing two big community institutions break bread together on a beautiful April day.

Here was an audience I recognized.

Dan Beyers is the founding editor of Capital Business, The Washington Post’s go-to source for news about the region’s business community.
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