The Rapidian Home

Participating with The Rapidian

The Rapidian invites community members to participate as much or little as they want. All media pieces on The Rapidian are public and free to access. For those who want to do more than consume information, a graduated process of involvement with the online site has been developed.

 Participation Ladder

  1. Anyone, anytime
    The Rapidian Web site is accessible to everyone without signing in. Additionally, the site features a “right now” Twitter widget. Anyone who tweets with the hashtag #Rapidian will appear in our scrolling tweet box on the front page.
    While you're out and about, be a community documentarian! Snap photos at Grand Rapids happs, add them to our Flickr pool and our reporters will use them to illustrate their stories. We will also rotate these in our photo of the day section.
  2. Registered Users
    To interact with media pieces and other users, individuals must create a user account. Once the account is activated, registered users can comment on stories, rate content, add calendar events to the site and suggest story ideas to our story bank for which they'd like to see media coverage.
  3. New Reporters
    This step provides a supportive way for new Rapidian reporters to get started. The first several articles in any format will be submitted to an editorial mentor who will complete two quick steps:
    1. Look out for any “fatal flaws” A fatal flaw could be a technical issue that keeps the content from posting correctly or a piece that is in direct violation of our few but important editorial policies. If such a flaw is found, the article will be returned to the reporter for correction.
    2. Review and make suggestions This step is intended to provide useful feedback about a story. These comments are suggestions related to readability, story flow, recommended tags and such. New reporters can also ask for specific advice at this stage. The reporter is free to use any or all of the feedback.
      Once this process is complete and any flaws fixed, the story will be posted.
  4. Reporters
    Full reporter status allows contributors to self-publish. This allows for immediate uploads of videos, audio stories, photos and text from around the community. To move to this level of publishing, reporters must have the recommendation of their editorial mentors and also have mastered The Rapidian's reporters' manual and instructors' guide along with any additional materials. Like all content, however, if a reporter's pieces are consistently flagged, they will be reviewed on an individual basis to determine whether the reporter needs to return to the mentoring process.
  5. Editors/Mentors
    Seasoned Rapidian reporters who want to take the next step can apply to be an editor. Selection is based on quality of reporting and a strong understanding of effective use of the Rapidian site. Different editor/mentors will have different areas of expertise (either media types or subject areas).
  6. Editorial Board
    An editorial board comprises editors who have applied to be part of the board. This body monitors editors to make sure there is no abuse of power.

As The Rapidian continues to evolve, community input from reporters, readers, viewers and more will be used to refine these steps.

The Rapidian offers various internship possibilities, and there's a lot more to be done than writing stories (though we love that). Find out what's currently available.