The Rapidian

Our place, your voices: Finding my life's work at The Rapidian

Working at The Rapidian helped me identify that journalism was my chosen career path. Since making a simple decision to report and write a couple of pieces purely on a volunteer basis, I’ve gotten to cover music, live events, politics and now, West Michigan business.

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The Rapidian is your hyperlocal news source powered by citizen journalism. Everything on The Rapidian is about our place- Grand Rapids, Michigan- and written by your voices. Neighbors keeping neighbors informed about local businesses, events, and issues. 


As an open and welcoming platform for all voices, the Rapidian is truly powered by the people. Please keep the power going with a donation today. This is our place, and these are your voices.


During our Spring Fund Drive, we also have special ways to thank our donors! Along with new ways to show your Rapidian love with pencils, Issue Press notebooks and Citizenshirt bags, we also have great gift certificates donated to the cause from these fine establishments:

/Courtesy of Nick Manes

For better or worse, my path to becoming a working journalist started with boredom. 

Recently laid off from a job I didn’t care for but somehow believed would be my career, I had no idea what I wanted to do. Upon hearing about the soon-to-launch online, hyperlocal news outlet The Rapidian, I decided to get involved. 

My first endeavor (and my first real venture into journalism) was an adventure to Woodland Mall to cover a Sarah Palin book signing. Attendees were lined up hours in advance of the would-be vice presidential candidate’s visit. I went with photographer Jon Clay, and we chatted with several of those waiting and it turned into a pretty fun article

Several volunteer articles later, I decided to up the ante a bit and become one of the publication’s first interns. Charged with starting the “politics beat,” I recruited approximately a dozen rotating, volunteer reporters; pitched and assigned story ideas and generally built a section of the site designed to cover our city’s government. 

Working at The Rapidian helped me identify that journalism was my chosen career path. Since making a simple decision to report and write a couple of pieces purely on a volunteer basis, I’ve gotten to cover music, live events, politics and now, West Michigan business. 

It didn’t require going to school or making any big plans. I just wanted something to do.

Now, it’s my life’s work.

But as the late David Carr, New York Times reporter and a journalism hero of mine said, “work” should be taken lightly.

"You get to leave, go talk to strangers, ask them anything, come back, type up their stories, edit the tape. That’s not gonna retire your loans as quickly as it should, and it’s not going to turn you into a person who’s worried about what kind of car they should buy, but that’s kind of as it should be. I mean, it beats working.”

It doesn’t get much better than that. 


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The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

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