Blog exposes newspaper vending box blight in Philadelphia

Boxes of Blight

"There is something different about newspaper boxes that seems to attract stickers and graffiti," says the Boxes of Blight Tumblr blog, dedicated to exposing decrepit and defaced newspaper vending boxes on the streets of Philadelphia. "Many are surrounded by bus shelters, utility poles, fire hydrants and other likely palettes which are much less frequently targeted."

A recent submission shows an oft-tagged box for the Inquirer and Daily News at Filbert and North 10th streets in Philadelphia.

More than just an artistic project, the blog aims to pressure newspaper publishers to comply with Philadelphia Official City Code 9-211, which says they should repair "any malfunctioning, vandalized or otherwise damaged box within seven calendar days of the occurrence of any such damage," and keep "such box clean and free of graffiti, broken parts, pasted bills and debris of any description, including ruined or out-dated publications."

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    Jeff Sonderman

    Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.


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