The Rapidian

Reporters needed for new political beat

As citizen journalism continues to grow and take shape, it's only natural that it be citizens who take the reins in the realms of political reporting.
Underwriting support from:


Contact Nick or The Rapidian to learn more!

Political reporting has always been at the forefront of journalism. From the muckrakers of the 20s, 30s and 40s through Woodward and Bernstein up to the modern day bloggers, political reporting has gone through a number of changes.

Historically, political reporting is not the most popular of categories for our writers. A quick scan of the government and politics section shows that between the first of October to the present, there are only six stories. Two of these are about the Occupy movement, one is a review of a local play that portrayed post-industrial Michigan, one story announced that a Christian activist would be speaking in Grand Rapids.

This doesn't mean that there aren't stories and issues to be covered here, however. To help our reporters start covering the variety of political life happening in our city, I have been tasked with gathering a core group of reporters to work together as a "political beat."

The stories in the political beat could vary widely, from local elections and city commission agendas to labor issues and government impact on business (and vice versa); from the two paragraph news beat to the in-depth investigative feature article. We know that there are people in our community that are passionate about the political process. Our hope is that these people will be willing to help the rest of us by sharing their experiences, viewpoints and knowledge.

The Rapidian is looking for 15-20 reporters to join the political beat, providing regular coverage of local government and its far-reaching impact on our everyday lives.

As citizen journalists, community engagement and involvement, along with transparency, are among the most important ideals we have. These ideals must be present in all of the reporting The Rapidian does, but especially in our political reporting. It is important that our reporters write what is fair and accurate with a thirst for truth.

Heading up the political beat, I will keep my eye on what could be potential stories and we will work toegther as a group of citizen reporters interested in our local political scene to get these stories covered.

After all, who better than the citizens to keep their fellow citizens informed and hold our officials accountable?

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.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.