Blogging the Blight of a Deteriorated Detroit Neighborhood

Amid the citywide blight of Detroit is the City Airport neighborhood -- rife with crime and virtually deserted by residents. But now former residents have begun to write and blog about the neighborhood, its better times and its possible futures.
December 22, 2008, 10am PST | Nate Berg
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"It's rare, these days, to see people out walking on the streets near City Airport, or to see children playing in the park. The few residents left in the area often stay inside their houses-the drug dealers to avoid the cops, the other residents to avoid the drug dealers."

"Neighborhoods like City Airport often fall through the cracks when it comes to the journalistic record, victims of news outlets' tendency to focus their reporting on those who can afford to pay for it. Two things, however, distinguish the neighborhood from its counterparts: It has a small but determined group of citizens who advocate for it, and it is the subject of a blog. Both can be traced to Detroit's second-largest newspaper."

"On its website, the Detroit News hosts Going Home: A Journal on Detroit's Neighborhoods. Don't let its expansive tagline fool you: Going Home, at least for now, is exclusively about this neighborhood. Through prose and pictures, it introduces City Airport residents and documents the neighborhood's physical devolution. It links to regular news stories, audio slide shows, and interactive graphics about the area. As a piece of journalism, Going Home is stubbornly anti-anthropological; its posts are not mere vignettes, narrated in the detached tones of reportorial observation. Going Home is, as its name suggests, highly personal."

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Published on Monday, December 1, 2008 in Utne Reader
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