Best Local Website
News, food, arts and events.
Editor’s choice: Popville
Best Local Social Media Channel
Editor’s Choice: @alexmorash
@unsuckdcmetro has been chronicling D.C. Metro’s mishaps and disasters since January, 2009.
The anonymous founder, who says he is a journalist and LGBT ally, started using Metro as part of his commute. After experiencing problems he decided to start a blog to complain. He says he didn’t think the blog would get as popular as it did but noticed he wasn’t the only disgruntled one.
“One thing that got me thinking that it might have a chance to become useful was noticing the faces of fellow passengers when a train offloads or whatever problem it might be. Everyone just looks like, “Geez, this Metro is so bad,’” he says.
What started as a blog to vent frustrations about the daily commute evolved into Facebook and Twitter pages with thousands of followers united by their common annoyance of public transportation.
The founder recalls that one of his biggest posts on his now-defunct blog was on the June 22, 2009 metro crash. It was the first time he noticed the power of social media in the news as tweets poured in tracking the tragedy.
Now besides his own posts, other passengers tag @unsuckmetrodc their issues with Metro from offloading to uncleanliness.
While @unsuckmetro is the founder’s passion project, he says he would much rather the Metro be reliable.
“At the very foundation of the problem is the way it’s governed. Nobody is accountable. It’s set up to protect everyone involved from being accountable. People let things slide when they’re not accountable,” he says. (MC)
Best Local TV Personality
Runner up: Chuck Bell, NBC 4
Many Washingtonians can recall growing up seeing Jim Vance report the news from the screens in their living rooms. The NBC4 news anchor became entrenched in D.C. culture just as much as “the Godfather of Go-Go” Chuck Brown, former D.C. Mayor Marion Barry and radio DJ Russ Parr, who all join Vance on Ben’s Chili Bowl mural wall.
Vance, who died from cancer in July at age 75, worked at NBC4 for more than 40 years making him the District’s longest serving TV anchor. Born in Ardmore, Pa., Vance was a reporter for the Philadelphia Independent newspaper and WHAT-AM radio station while also teaching English. He joined WRC-TV (NBC4) in 1969 as a reporter before moving to the anchor desk in 1972.
His coverage spanned some of the most talked about moments in D.C.’s history.
In 1977, he reported on the Hanafi Siege on three D.C. buildings by 12 gunmen which resulted in 149 hostages and the death of radio host Maurice Williams. He also covered the Air Florida Flight 90 crash in the Potomac River, which killed 78 people, in 1982.
More recently, he called out the Washington Redskins over the controversial use of their name despite being a longtime fan.
“Back in the day, if you really wanted to insult a black man, an Italian, a Jew, an Irishman, and probably start a fight, you threw out certain words. They were, and are pejoratives of the first order, the worst order, specifically intended to injure. In my view, ‘Redskin’ was and is in that same category,” Vance said during a 2013 broadcast of “Vance’s View.”
Over the course of his career, Vance received 19 local Emmy awards. In 2007, he earned the honor of being inducted into the National Association of Black Journalists Hall of Fame.
He gained recognition as a news anchor outside of D.C. thanks to a viral video that reached millions of views. In a 2006 segment on Paris Fashion Week, Vance and sports anchor George Michael couldn’t control their laughter over a model who fell twice on the runway. The Foo Fighters even paid tribute to Vance by using the video in a promo for their concert at RFK stadium.
While his professional life was widely praised, his personal life was also colorful. He went to the Betty Ford Clinic in 1984 to recover from a cocaine addiction that he battled throughout the ‘70s and ‘80s. Barry asked Vance for advice when he was dealing with his own addiction to crack cocaine which led to his 1990 arrest.
“Why did he ask me? Because what he, like everyone else who’s been around Washington for a while knows, is that for more than four years I have been in recovery. The mayor thought that I might be able to advise him. I did so,” the Washington Post quotes Vance telling viewers.
He was also candid about his struggles with depression and a suicide attempt at Potomac River at Great Falls in 1987 for which he sought therapy.
Vance died at his Silver Spring, Md. home. He is survived by his wife Kathy McCampbell Vance and three children Dawn, Amani and Brendon. (MC)
Best Radio Station
Public radio station serving the D.C. metro area.
Editor’s choice: Hot 99.5