From the Editor: Treasure chests of information

Monday, August 9, 2010

One of the joys of being editor is that I get to read everything before it makes its way into print. It's like knowing a secret you can't wait to share with others.

When I read a particularly good piece, I sometimes smack my hands together spontaneously, startling whoever might be near me. Or I might start talking back to my computer screen, arguing with the subject being quoted.

For me, reading is an interactive process.

I don't think ink on paper gets its proper due in that respect.

The creation of Capital Business each week is every bit as interactive as the Web.

Our staff is out in the community, gathering information and taking to people, engaging in conversations not anonymously, but face to face or by phone.

And it is a conversation. The best interviews are those that produce some unexpected insight.

That's why I can't wait to read each week's copy. I inevitably learn something from every reporter, every designer, every editor, every photographer I work with, just as I learn from you, the reader.

I love getting letters to the editor, and commentaries, especially when they don't agree with something we've written. The feedback may rankle, but it is more often thoughtful than not.

A multitude of voices brings more variety -- and authority -- to our report. That's one reason why we have not been shy about teaming up with others.

The folks at Motley Fool in Alexandria have spent a lot more time than I have thinking about stocks. Bethesda's CoStar Group has built a huge business around gathering data on commercial real estate transactions. Bloomberg has done the same with its amazing storehouse of financial information.

And I glean some new insight about managing my career or building this business each week from the team at the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.

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