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Introducing the Telegraph’s Building Blocks from Blight podcast

More from the series


Building Blocks from Blight

The Telegraph is investigating blight in Bibb County and its impact on the community. Over the next few months, Telegraph reporter Samantha Max will profile local residents affected by blight in their own communities. If you’d like to be interviewed, you can email her at smax@macon.com or call her at (478) 744-4306.

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If you’ve been reading The Telegraph over the past three months, you might have noticed a lot of stories about blight, a word often used by politicians and city planners to describe vacant structures and urban decay. Since the end of December, I’ve been interviewing government officials, community leaders and longtime Macon residents about the impact of blight in their communities.

Nearly every day, I receive emails and phone calls from readers who have their own story to share. Three grandmothers living in Unionville told me they’re afraid to sit out on their front porches, because they never know who might stumble out of one of the many vacant houses that line their street. A woman in north Macon told me she’s called every county department she can think of to complain about a run-down home next door, with no luck.

People often associate blight with Macon’s most vulnerable neighborhoods, but it exists in every corner and every neighborhood. After months of reporting, I’ve heard from people of different races, incomes and walks of life. The one thing each of my sources had in common: they want the best for their communities.

You can read about them in my series, Building Blocks from Blight. And in a few weeks, you can hear their voices in the podcast I’m producing to accompany the series. The trailer just dropped on Soundcloud, and you can check back for the rest of the series at the end of May.



Samantha Max is a Report for America corps member and reports for The Telegraph with support from the News/CoLab at Arizona State University. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/smax1996 and on Twitter @samanthaellimax. You can also join her Facebook group. Learn more about Report for America at www.reportforamerica.org.

Samantha Max is a Report for America corps member and reports for The Telegraph with support from the News/CoLab at Arizona State University. She joined The Telegraph in June of 2018 and reports on the health of the community. Samantha graduated from Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism in 2018. As an undergraduate student, she interned for the Medill Justice Project, Hoy (Chicago Tribune’s Spanish-language publication) and NPR-affiliate station WYPR in her hometown of Baltimore. Follow her on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/smax1996 and on Twitter @samanthaellimax. You can also join her Facebook group. Learn more about Report for America at www.reportforamerica.org.
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