What is The DTM?

Since 2012, The DTM has been providing curated local news, independent reporting, and commentary in Charlottesville, Virginia and beyond. I named it after a local short hand for Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall, a 9-block stretch of Main Street that was converted into a pedestrian mall in the 1970s, which always seems to be at the center of the cultural, social, and political life of the community. Needless to say, Charlottesville has always had a way of being at the center of things.

Who is The DTM

I was a staff writer for The Hook for 9 years, and before that a freelance journalist, and later wrote for Takepart.com before returning to freelancing and running the DTM. A series of investigative stories I wrote for The Hook on the suicide of Virginia Quarterly Review managing editor Kevin Morrissey attracted national news coverage [ABCNews, NBC Today Show, LA Times, New York Times], led to a national discussion about workplace bullying, and prompted the University of Virginia to launch an initiative to address the issue. I also investigated what was behind a faulty, $2-million software package that was purchased by the Albemarle County School system, and my investigations into the local trash and recycling business was recognized by the Virginia Press Association as “truly a public service to your readers.” With my colleagues at The Hook, I also shared the VPA’s Award for Journalistic Integrity & Public Service for my coverage of the attempted ouster of then UVA President Teresa Sullivan. For TakePart.com, I examined the legacy of sexual assault at UVA, interviewed a young activist in Pakistan trying to end the practice of child marriages, wrote about an animal rights journalist being targeted by the FBI, and covered developments in technology and social justice across Africa. For The DTM, my coverage of two Black men wrongly accused of committing a random “knock out attack” on a white couple on the Downtown Mall, as well as my coverage and analysis of the KKK and Unite the Right rallies in August 2017, prompted this from the executive editor of Fast Company Magazine: “good stuff from what seems to be the best news source in Charlottesville.”

Years later, I still get emails about this story I wrote about rock star Dave Matthews and the tragic suicide of a local musician.

On a lighter note, I wrote about the local restaurant scene and development for several years, seniors issues for the Daily Progress, and even wrote some satirical news.

My fiction has also appeared in the Virginia Quarterly Review, Shenandoah, and other literary journals.

Reach out at dsmcnair at gmail dot com or on twitter at @DSMcNair

Thanks for reading!

David McNair

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Good stuff from what seems to be the best news source in Charlottesville.” — Rick Tetzeli, executive editor, Fast Company Magazine, talking about The DTM.

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Some past writing

Title IX Remix: will new rules on sexual harassment & assault investigations serve justice?

Why Charlottesville? How a Facebook comment, an unknown blogger, and some old tweets inflamed a debate about race and monuments

Viral justice? Chief Longo on the alleged "knock out game" assault on the DTM

Dave, fame, and Haines: Celebrity, suicide, and the etiquette of envy

Tale of Woe: The death of the VQR's Kevin Morrissey

Send Girls Off to Learn, Not Off to Marry, Says 13-Year-Old Pakistani Activist

Forget the ‘Rolling Stone’ Debacle: At UVA, 38 Reports of Sexual Violence, 0 Expulsions Last Year

Wanna know what 9 years writing for an alt weekly looks like? Be my guest. No, that is not a real hat.


We still have an old fashioned website where you’ll find this Developing story archive and a nifty Downtown Mall webcam [not mine]. Keep track of how various stories of interest are evolving in the Charlottesville area.

Want to be a DTM contributor? Send pitches to dsmcnair at gmail dot com.

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