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The Rapidian hosts Intro to Community Journalism workshop at the Grand Rapids Public Library

Tuesday, February 7, The Rapidian hosted the first of a two part community journalism workshop series at the Grand Rapids Public Library. The second workshop is February 21 from 12 pm - 1:30 pm for free with lunch included.
Intro to Community Journalism Workshop

Intro to Community Journalism Workshop /Kiran Sood Patel, Managing Editor at The Rapidian

Community Journalism Workshop

Register here for February 21 at the Grand Rapids Public Library Main Branch.

Mariah Cowsert presenting at workshop

Mariah Cowsert presenting at workshop /Carol Shirey, Development Director at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center

/Carol Shirey, Development Director at the Grand Rapids Community Media Center

The Rapidian's Intro to Community Journalism Workshop began Tuesday with a presentation by Mariah Cowsert, Community Outreach Coordinator at The Rapidian. She explained how The Rapidian fits into Grand Rapids Community Media Center. Mariah interacted with the room and thanked everyone for the local funding and support The Rapidian has received since its launch September 15, 2009. She gave credit to the five branches of GRCMC and all of the work they are doing. Mariah discussed the importance of active listening and how since most journalism is done behind a screen, how beneficial it was to see everyone in person.

Register for free. Get approved to write. Raise your voice.

Mariah spoke on the value of raising your voice in the community.

"The Rapidian is an important resource for the community to raise its voice and allows you to actively listen to your neighbors and the stories they have to share. I'm incredibly thankful for the work that is put in by our community members that showcase real people, issues, and events that are relevant to Grand Rapids that may not otherwise get coverage. One of my favorite aspects about working at The Rapidian is meeting with local nonprofits and community members and engaging in dialogue on what matters to them, how I can better help them use the platform to highlight their community involvement, and listening to their stories.”

The participants shared what they are passionate about with the group, all with a single tie of connection with individuals and hearing people's stories.

The workshop pulled in new members to the Grand Rapids community, as well as long term members looking to bring awareness to their neighborhoods or certain issues surrounding our community.

Desiree Reed, Marketing Manager for Junior Achievement of the Michigan Great Lakes, shares, “Once again proving themselves to be a true community champion, The Rapidian connected those passionate about sharing stories of the voiceless and celebrating diversity. The Intro to Community Journalism Workshop was an exceptional resource yielding a wealth of information and, most importantly, the inviting, cohesive, collaborative atmosphere Grand Rapids needs in order to achieve great things. We are blessed to have such a vital organization advocating for our growing city!”

There are many ways for Grand Rapidians to get involved. Any community member is able to register for a free account. There are internships available every season.

Community members may also post any photos they take in and around Grand Rapids to The Rapidian's Flickr. People can get involved by word of mouth! Tell friends and share articles on Facebook.

Come to events held by The Rapidian. The next one outside of the workshop will be at The Meanwhile on Wealthy, March 15. A portion of the profits will be donated to The Rapidian. Join us and raise a glass to community connection!

Daniel Menjivar, a new member to the Grand Rapids community, spoke about his experience at the workshop.

“I thought it was a great introduction. Very welcoming to people from all perspectives. It also brought people that might not normally be in the same room together to learn about writing for the community they love. It definitely made me excited to learn more about what it takes to write for The Rapidian.”

To learn more about what it takes, register here for our next workshop February 21. This workshop will be more interactive with helping participants with writing prompts and setting up accounts on The Rapidian. There will be a chance to ask more questions, learn the format and understand what makes for a thorough story.

Stay tuned for more events and workshops to come.

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.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

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