Best Local Blog
Reader's Choice: Hack and City of Destiny (tie)
Chicago's long been a city of determined archivists and innovative storytellers, from Ben Hecht to Studs Terkel to Timuel Black. Here are two for the new generation.
Hack: Dmitry Samarov, an art school-trained cabbie, records his fares in sketches, watercolors, and words, each post a perfectly formed miniature of lives in transit.
City of Destiny: If Richard Nickel had had a digicam and a Flickr account, he might have had an oeuvre like Katherine of Chicago's. She's an obsessive, gutsy documenter of abandoned buildings, architectural details, and civic errata; the Chicago History Museum is advised to set aside a hard drive. a samarov.blogspot.com, cityofdestiny.blogspot.com. —Whet Moser
Readers' Choice: Chicagoist
Readers' Choice: Viking Youth Power Hour
Best Radio Station
Readers' Choice: WBEZ
a 91.5 FM, wbez.org.
Best College Radio Station
Reader's Choice: WHPK
My reason for choosing the tiny WHPK over indie powerhouse WLUW is that poor 'LUW bears so much responsibility for being the "progressive, community-oriented radio station," that WBEZ ought to be, "committed to social justice and independent thought and expression, and to giving a voice to those who too often go unheard," that it can't just say fuck-all and be a good old-fashioned youthfully self-indulgent college radio station. On WHPK, microspecialty shows like Qwee! ("where the music is cuter than both the boys and the squirrels") and Arrhythmia ("where Colin and Jenn will make your heart jump with the sounds of frantic drumming, creepy odes to Jacoby Ellsbury, and anarchist clatter") bump up against international samplers like Rendezvous Afrika and Gateway to Brazil, DIY talk shows, and the long-running live-in-studio show Pure Hype. It "broadcasts" from the University of Chicago on 100 watts of sheer willpower, but on the north side you can listen at whpk.org/stream. —Monica Kendrick
Readers' Choice: WLUW
a 88.7 FM, wluw.org.
Best Daily Newspaper
Readers' Choice: Chicago Tribune
Best TV Newscast
Readers' Choice: WGN
Best News Source
Reader's Choice: Chicago Tribune
Boring as the Chicago Tribune can sometimes be, it remains broad, deep, scrupulous, and given to bursts of outright excellence. In these times, the staff's dogged sense of self is something to admire. The frenetic new executive team may not know what the Tribune is, but the newsroom does. And let's not overlook the suspense factor: will this be the year the Trib's crack editorial board can't make a straight-faced argument that the Republican nominee for president is the nation's last best hope? Or will that same strict sense of self guarantee once again journalism's most predictable endorsement? —Michael Miner
Readers' Choice: WBEZ