The Washington Post has announced a series of moves that for all intents and purposes ends dedicated regional business coverage in the newspaper. The end of the month will see the final edition of the Capital Business section, and with it The Washington Post concludes a recent era of guaranteed regional coverage.
To be fair, the Post says it will continue to cover D.C. business news, generally on Sunday and Monday. But local businesses seeking local coverage in the thinning pages of the Post may want to seek other venues like the Washington Business Journal, In the Capital, DCist, local radio and other options.
The Post has always had aspirations to be a national paper and Internet destination in several topic areas, not just politics. That’s why the paper will write a feature story focused on the solar sector rather than a long overdue update on a local company like Reston Limousine, which has continued to grow and will top $20 million in revenue this year.
It’s not that there is anything wrong with the Post’s focus. It’s a business. And the newspaper clearly needs to attract readers that fit demographic goals necessary for advertisers. If that means attaining a broader audience than the population of the capital region, then the decision is logical.
At the same time, it is hard to consider the Post the Greater Washington region’s business newspaper. It has ceded this kind of coverage to smaller, nimbler competitors who thrive on supporting Washington-specific business.
This is much like many stories of the Internet: A general company loses control of secondary and tertiary business markets to smaller, niche competitors who can use technology to offer the same or better service – in this case, coverage – for less revenue (ad dollars).
In many ways, this is yet another sign that the news is no longer the business of major newspapers alone. The Internet wins again.
What do you think of the Washington Post’s decision to sunset the Capital Business section?