Best Of 2016

Blogger Paul Sewick wrote the fascinating Corktown History blog while he lived in Corktown from 2005 to 2015, showing off his knack for turning questions about Corktown's history into satisfying and readable accounts of what happened when. When Sewick moved to Farmington Hills last year, he wanted to expand the scope of his writing, hence Detroit Urbanism, a blog he says is "just a broader view of the same things that happened in Corktown, how Detroit set its shape, basically: anything that had to do with shaping the map of the region." His scholarship has already produced blogs about lost Native American trails, burial mounds, and Judge Woodward's fanciful plan for Detroit.

This alternative rock station knows how to have fun! Just take a look at the lineup for their "birthday bash" at The Fillmore Detroit on May 8! Silversun Pickups, Foals, and Joywave. Talk about a good time. While the music is a draw, people also seem to gravitate to the station's radio personalities like Cal Cagno and Sarah Jean, who host the uber-popular Cal & Co. show from 5:30 a.m. until 10 a.m., Monday through Friday.

Detroit's homegrown Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist is a national phenomenon and celebrity in his own right thanks to a best-selling book, a nationally broadcast show, The Americans with Charlie LeDuff, and his work for outlets such as VICE and Mother Jones.

LeDuff's flamboyant reporting style telegraphs his personality, humor, and passion for change, and he's used it to reveal serious injustices such as hours-long police response times in Detroit and reprehensible conditions in the city's fire stations. "Thank you. It's nice to know you care, Detroit," he says of our readers' selection for Best TV Journalist.

Hip in Detroit recently celebrated their fourth anniversary, and this is the third time they've been voted into the Best of Detroit issue by our readers. It's no wonder, or surprise. After all, HID's bloggers Christie Laabs and Sadie Q are exceptional at highlighting all the most positive things in every event, restaurant, person, and Detroit thing they write about.

Created by Joe Gall, Camera Jesus is truly a sight to behold. Boasting more than 40,000 followers, the account features atmospheric photos of everything from the Multnomah Falls in Portland to a commercial jet graveyard just outside Bangkok. But don't get too much wanderlust looking at the pics. Camera Jesus touts its fair share of Detroit-based photographs that will make you feel perfectly content — in fact, lucky — to be based in the Motor City. There are gorgeous pictures of the Ambassador Bridge lit up at night — who would have ever thought it could be so beautiful? — and rad shots of Tony Hawk kicking it in the D. It's all pretty cool.

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Whether it's booking entertainment for festivals, venues, or events, 7 Stone is committed to elevating Detroit's native talent. With a fleet of over 250 models and years of experience in everything from films to charity galas, the company is a top choice for major clients, including Quicken Loans, Greektown Casino, Bacardi, and hey, even us.

The Fox 2 team gets props for asking tough questions, like the kind that once drove Detroit City Councilman George Cushingberry to declare a "No Elrick Zone." It's no surprise they were voted Best TV News Team and Best Local News by our readers — this is the station that readers trust and watch.

You might know him from his weekly "Parting Glances" column in Between the Lines and his LGBT advocacy; from exhibitions at the Detroit Institute of Arts and The Scarab Club; for cover stories he's written for Metro Times; or for his frequent position at the bar at Cass Cafe, perusing the tea chest. In recent years, lifelong artist and Cass Corridor resident Charles Alexander has created an average of one piece of his exquisite abstract art everyday and posted it on Facebook.

"I work intuitively and rather quickly," Alexander told Artwear Detroit of his line drawings and mixed media pieces. "I start with a geometric shape, a humorous or serious doodle, a fluid symbol fished from my subconscious, a newly minted hieroglyph or alphabet, sometimes a line expressive of energy and movement, and I proceed from there."

Alexander's work brings color and culture to our Facebook feed everyday, and a smile to our face.

Since his departure from Metro Times, Curt Guyette has been on a roll at the ACLU of Michigan: uncovering what's happening in Michigan thanks to the state's emergency manager law. He has alerted us to how the Education Achievement Authority became a testing ground for software companies, how emergency managers have driven DPS ever deeper into debt, and more. But his work over the last year exposing why Flint switched to the Flint River as its water source, and what happened afterward, have catapulted him into the national spotlight and convinced the Michigan Press Association to name him Journalist of the Year. We couldn't agree more.

If you relied on public radio for all your news about the Flint water crisis, you'd be well-informed: In the media dogpile touched off late last year, radio journalists were at the forefront of inquiry. But if you only had to hear one voice, that of Lindsey Smith at Michigan Radio would be the most important. The story highlighted Smith's talent for taking a big story and cooking it down into something the average listener could understand. She also showed a great deal of skill dealing with the flacks for state government who disputed her coverage along the way. It just goes to show why we need plenty of inquiring, courageous journalists uncovering local issues for our public radio station.