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The Rapidian statement of values

It is important to establish and state a clear set of values for The Rapidian that can help guide the evolution of this experiment. Creating this statement involved significant community input and consideration of many options. The following values are central to the goal of increasing local civic engagement and will be reflected throughout the policy and guidelines of the Rapidian.

  • Inclusiveness: It is a core belief of The Rapidian that including many diverse voices will ultimately strengthen the community. We understand that within our community there are many points of view and and differing news priorities. We value and encourage such diversity over style of reporting, issues of seniority or story subject.
     
  • Civility: We believe in robust debate and spirited conversation. We also believe meaningful conversation is best enabled through civil debate and respectful exchange of ideas. Content submitted to the Rapidian (including comments) is expected to reflect this value. Personal attacks, slanderous material, hate speech or unsubstantiated accusations will be flagged and removed.
     
  • Ethical Reporting: We value basic tenets of journalistic ethics and will continually strive to establish, support and encourage ethical reporting. Standards for Rapidian reporters include:

    • Seek truth
    • Be honest and fair
    • Minimize harm
    • Do not misrepresent
    • Seek alternate sources and points of view
    • Do not use reporting for personal gain
       
  • Original Works/Proper Attribution: We value and honor those who create and distribute meaningful content and set attribution standards accordingly. Plagiarism, failure to provide proper credit or unauthorized derivative works are not acceptable.
     
  • Open Identity (no anonymous posting): In pursuit of meaningful exchange and dissemination of valuable information, we believe we must each take responsibility for our words. Anonymous stories and comments do not support this value and will not be accepted.
     
  • Cooperative Distribution: All content posted on The Rapidian will be licensed under one of two possible Creative Commons licenses. This means that complete works may be redistributed and posted to other places, subject to the rules of these licenses. At the reporter's option, some content may be restricted from commercial redistribution. We use the Creative Commons licenses in the spirit of wide distribution and sharing of local information, a key value of this project.
     
  • Local Emphasis: The Rapidian has been designed with a local focus. While important news happens all over the globe, The Rapidian is for the purpose of helping our community better know itself. Content on this site will be from, for and about our Grand Rapids community.

The Rapidian is an experiment intended to demonstrate that as community, we can use the concepts and structures of citizen journalism to share information, empower new voices and increase meaningful interaction between all of us who call ourselves “Rapidian.”