Newspaper blight makes Tumblr headlines

Boxes of Blight chronicles Philadelphia's ink-and-newsprint wreckage.

Just because newspapers are moving online doesn’t mean they can abandon their physical distribution points.

That’s the message behind Boxes of Blight, a Tumblr blog that highlights derelict newspaper boxes around Philadelphia. The blog brings attention to Philadelphia Official City Code 9-211, which calls for box owners to repair damaged boxes and clean up graffiti. As the blog demonstrates, this is a policy which many are clearly ignoring.

“I read Center City crime reports almost every week, and in spite of hundreds of damaged boxes, I have never seen a news company report one,” the anonymous blogger writes. “Why is it possible that we have clean mailboxes and bus shelters and everything else, but not newspaper boxes? The law requires that they maintain the boxes, but there’s no profit so they don’t.”

Since October, the blogger has posted photos of tagged, graffiti-laden, and just plain broken newspaper boxes in order to raise awareness of the problem. While we’re fans of the photography, the blogger assures viewers that this is no art project.

“[D]enial of this blight on our city will stop right here,” he or she writes.

The Daily Dot suspects that this problem extends far wider than the Philadelphia city limits. Check out our Storify gallery and see if anything looks familiar.

Hot off the presses of yore: Ye Olde News
For those tired of the current state of 24-hour sensationalist news, Tumblr has a refreshing answer. Take a look at Ye Olde News, a historical Tumblog about old newspapers. The blog’s author, an anthropologist named Samantha, created Ye Olde News to share her findings from an impressive collection of newspapers dating as far back as the Salem Witch Trials in 1693.“In my mind there is no better way to learn about history than to read about what was written about it before i...
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