The Rapidian

About

The Rapidian launched on Sept. 15, 2009 and is a department of the Grand Rapids Community Media Center with funding and support from our local businesses and citizens just like you. We are a community journalism news source intended to increase the flow of local news and information in the Grand Rapids community and its neighborhoods.

By providing tools, training, platforms and support, we empower neighborhood residents to report the news from the inside out. We are an outlet for Grand Rapidians to become more than just content consumers but also providers by becoming citizen journalists.

Editorial Independence Policy

We subscribe to standards of editorial independence adopted by the Institute for Nonprofit News:

Our organization retains full authority over editorial content to protect the best journalistic and business interests of our organization. We maintain a firewall between news coverage decisions and sources of all revenue. Acceptance of financial support does not constitute implied or actual endorsement of donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals and organizations for the general support of our activities, but our news judgments are made independently and not on the basis of donor support.

Our organization may consider donations to support the coverage of particular topics, but our organization maintains editorial control of the coverage. We will cede no right of review or influence of editorial content, nor of unauthorized distribution of editorial content.

Our organization will make public all donors who give a total of $5,000 or more per year. We will accept anonymous donations for general support only if it is clear that sufficient safeguards have been put into place that the expenditure of that donation is made independently by our organization and in compliance with INN's Membership Standards.

Donor Transparency

We are committed to transparency in every aspect of funding our organization.

Accepting financial support does not mean we endorse donors or their products, services or opinions.

We accept gifts, grants and sponsorships from individuals, organizations and foundations to help with our general operations, coverage of specific topics, and special projects. Our news judgments are made independently – not based on or influenced by donors. We do not give supporters the rights to assign, review or edit content.

We will make public all donors who give $5000 or more per year. As a nonprofit, we will avoid accepting donations from anonymous sources, and we will not accept donations from government entities, political parties, elected officials or candidates actively seeking public office. We will not accept donations from sources who, deemed by our board of directors, present a conflict of interest with our work or compromise our independence.

Frequently Asked Questions:

How do I get started?

If you want to pitch stories to our community journalists or add photos to our Picturesque gallery, then you want to sign up to become a user! After this, you may request to become a community journalist.

If you want to write articles, publish your experiences or share your story, then you want to become a community journalist.To become a community journalist, you first have to create and have your user account approved.

If you’re an employee, volunteer or intern wanting to report on your nonprofit, you can sign up for a nonprofit account.

 

Why get involved?

We are an outlet for Grand Rapidians to become more than just content consumers but also providers by becoming community journalists. Being involved with The Rapidian is about being a part of a bigger conversation.

Be a part of the conversation. Be a part of Grand Rapids. Be a part of The Rapidian!

 

Who can write on the Rapidian?

Community members and non-profits are welcome to come and publish on our website. For-profit businesses and PR companies cannot publish advertorial pieces about their business or clients. Essentially, if you could stand to financially benefit from reporting a story or are getting paid to do it, it won’t be accepted on our platform.

 

What is your coverage area?

Our coverage area is metro Grand Rapids, the immediate surrounding cities of Cascade, Comstock Park, East Grand Rapids, Grandville, Grand Rapids Township, Kentwood, Plainfield Township, Walker, Wyoming and Ada. We do not cover or run stories on anything outside of these parameters.

 

You should write about _______! Can one of your reporters cover _______?

Because we are citizen-powered, it is up to community members to decide the stories that get covered and the articles that are written. Our job is to help facilitate the community in learning how to write and report news and stories about their communities. We only occasionally write or report ourselves. We also do not have a team of paid reporters or reporters on beats that can consistently cover pitches or press releases that come our way.

 

I have a press release for you. Can you cover this story?

We accept press releases and article ideas but we cannot guarantee that those will be covered. It is up to community journalists to write those stories.

We do have interns every quarter who learn about citizen journalism and could choose to cover your event. However, we can’t guarantee that is the story they will choose to report on.

 

Can I publish press releases?

We do not publish press releases. Instead, we ask that community journalists and nonprofits learn about crafting stories and reporting news and write compelling pieces that will interest and inform the community and our readers about your work.

 

I want to post events on your calendar!

After you create a user account, you can access our calendar and publish upcoming events.

 

How can I upload an article?

Once your Reporter request has been approved, you can log into The Rapidian, click “Add Content” then select “Article.”

Check out our printable Rapidian Community Reporter and Nonprofit Reporter sheets for a thorough, step-by-step guide on writing on The Rapidian.

 

How do I write? What are some things to write about?

Our Community Reporter and Nonprofit Reporter sheets can help if you’re just starting off with community journalism. As for what to write about, we suggest looking at issues concerning your community, civic and political stories, new businesses and upcoming community events for story ideas. Pursue your passion!

 

There’s a typo/inaccuracy/something that needs to be clarified on this piece!

You can either leave a comment on the article or email us at [email protected] and we’ll fix it ASAP.

 

I’d like to get in touch with the reporter/author of an article?

Email us at [email protected] if you want more information regarding getting in contact with a community journalist.

 

Could I meet with someone to learn more about community journalism and publishing on The Rapidian/Can you come speak to my class, non-profit, etc:

Absolutely! You can email our Managing Editor Kiran Sood Patel at [email protected] for more information on a possible training or to meet and talk.

 

I forgot my login/An old intern or employee has our account log in/Can’t access my account!

Email us at [email protected] and we’ll get you back into your account in no time. Once you are, be sure to remember to update all of your information to your most current contact and organizational info and new password.

If you still have other questions that weren't touched upon in our FAQ, email us at [email protected].

 

For more community journalism resources and to volunteer, click below.

 

Thank you to all our supporters! Here's a great way to help further support your favorite Community Media Center! A portion of your Amazon Smile purchase will be donated to support WYCE, The Rapidian, GRTV and Wealthy Theatre. Please sign up or switch to Community Media Center today!

#StartWithaSmile at http://smile.amazon.com/ch/38-2386140 and Amazon donates.

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