Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet


The GW Hatchet

Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

Welcome to The Hatchet’s 2024 Best of Northwest Guide

The following isn’t breaking news, but local news is breaking down.

Since 2005, a third of United States newspapers have shut down. Others have been gutted, losing staff members and resources. Now, even local online publications are being eliminated, with the District’s own DCist becoming the latest victim of this trend in February. Even the Washington Post trimmed its local metro section last fall.

There’s a lot of coverage that gets lost in this shuffling — local politics, sports and human interest all dissipate without local papers. But what’s also lost is coverage of local culture, writing about the area’s best food to eat, best areas to visit and best bizarre attractions.

Nothing better exemplified this than the “Best Of” guides, a tradition supposedly invented by the San Francisco Bay Guardian in the 1970s. The issues involved a newspaper or magazine, especially alternative weekly papers notable for their spunky arts and culture coverage, rounding up the very best of everything in a city. In D.C., you can see this in Washingtonian and the City Paper, both guides we’d recommend.

With The Hatchet’s annual Best of Northwest guide, we have an exceedingly rare chance to look all around the Northwest quadrant and put to writing everything that makes D.C. and GW, well, D.C. and GW — the museum dates, the illegal lizards and the controversial delis.

My mom, who edited New Haven’s alt-weekly, the New Haven Advocate, in the 1990s and 2000s, told me the week she’d work on the “Best Of” guide was the worst week of her year due to the sheer quantity of pieces she’d have to edit. After weeks of stress-induced dreams about empty Google Docs, I sympathize with her. But for her, the finished product was something really one of a kind, a collection of fun, well-written articles memorializing everything that mattered in the city that year.

Though, these guides don’t really exist anymore. The Bay Guardian still publishes their Best of the Bay roundup, but just as an online poll of readers, without any writing about that year’s winners. The Advocate shut down years ago, and its successor, the New Haven Independent, has never done such a collection of pieces.

Here at The Hatchet, though, the “Best Of” guide is still alive and well, the culmination of the culture section’s work for the year. Each award recipient is tied to GW, be it a story about a student or based off a pitch from a member of the University.

People say journalism is meant to be the first draft of history. The Hatchet’s culture section — where, rather than covering breaking news, we write about on-campus weddings — might not always achieve that lofty status. But through the Best of Northwest guide, we get to write a manuscript for all that has made living in D.C. and attending GW for the past 12 months remarkable.


Campus Life

Food and Drink

D.C. Life

More to Discover
Donate to The GW Hatchet