The 2016 edition of
New Times' Best of Phoenix is out now, making an argument for our status as a border town. Here's our list of the best media in our midst.
Best Local to Follow on Snapchat: New Darlings
While you can follow along with their adventures in the desert and abroad on a variety of social-media platforms, Robert and Christina Martinez really shine on Snapchat. Better known as New Darlings, the blogger couple documents trips to their favorite haunts (you're gonna notice a fair amount of Lux), gym angst, home-decor decisions, and the newest records they've picked up — all adorned with stickers and emojis and geofilters that make snapping more fun than, well, basically any other mode of social sharing.
Best Podcast: Spillers After Show
Brian Dunn and Robert Hoekman Jr. launched the short-fiction reading series Spillers at the Crescent Ballroom in August 2015, and since then have continued to refine the series through live readings and an insightful podcast, the Spillers After Show
. Featuring readings from and long-form interviews with Spillers readers like essayist Tara Ison, novelist Patrick Michael Finn, Spilled Milk
editor Leah Newsom, and poet Joel Salcido, the series features discussions and dissections of the creative process, with Dunn and Hoekman offering probing questions and thoughtful responses that bring the intimacy of the live shows to your iPhone.
Best Selfie: ASU Sorority Girls at Chase Field
After Arizona Diamondbacks commentators Steve Berthiaume and Bob Brenly asked the crowd at a game last October to take selfies and post them to Twitter, the two could not stop laughing about a group of Arizona State University Alpha Chi Omega sorority sisters heeding their request. Critics of the two men accused them of sexism. But the girls didn't seem to mind, posing for a group selfie that was tweeted out by the official D-backs Twitter account later that night.
Best Border Reporting: KJZZ's Fronteras Desk
Also known as the Changing America Desk, the Fronteras Desk is a collection of four public-radio stations — including Phoenix's KJZZ 91.5 FM — reporting on immigration, Native American, economic, and environmental news in the Southwest, reaching from Southern California to central Texas, i.e., the border of the United States and Mexico. This multimedia collaboration started in 2010 as a joint project between KBPS San Diego and KJZZ Phoenix. Listen up. You might learn something.
Best TV Newscaster: Brahm Resnik
Go to any political event, protest, or important public meeting, and there's 12 News reporter and anchor Brahm Resnik holding a microphone, ready to talk about the situation at hand. To us, Resnik's talent as a reporter goes much deeper than his ability to cover a wide variety of topics and break news — we think it actually stems from his determination to hold local politicians and government agencies accountable.
Best News Radio Station: KJZZ (91.5 FM)
Sure, KJZZ is home to fantastic syndicated programs from NPR — we're big fans of Jesse Thorn's weekly pop-culture talk show, Bullseye
, and the Moth Radio Hour
— but the station really makes its bones as Phoenix's go-to audio news source. In order to bring us thoughtful reporting and insightful commentary, the station's reporters dig into economic trends, cutting-edge ASU research, and of course, our always-turbulent political frays.
Best Local to Follow on Instagram: @donjay
Thousands of worthy Instagrammers out there document the amazing desert landscape we have in Arizona. Between the fascinating plant life that manages to thrive in our harsh environment and the breathtaking sunsets that make the sweltering summer heat worth it, there's plenty of beauty to capture. But Donjay, who aptly posts under the Instagram handle @donjay, shows the wonder of the desert and this city that has grown within it through his own eye, and we can't look away.