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News and Media Winners

Best Citizen Journalism

Baltimore Slumlord Watch blog

Posted 9/16/2009

From researching the owners of boarded-up drug houses to advising new residents on how to shop for a rental, the 9-month-old Baltimore Slumlord Watch, operated by an anonymous city resident, offers a lesson and example of how to care about your city. A typical entry might be an address--2132 N. Fulton Ave. was one recent example--with a photo and a paragraph or two about the owner, often drawn from online court records. That's good enough to get started, but the blogger does more, tracing problem property owners' political contributions, suspected tax cheating, and action (or lack of action) from City Hall. And it's all done in a polite way, with just a tinge of the frustration that rightly accompanies these inquiries.

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