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Join me: Becoming a Rapidian reporter as a new resident and new writer

The Rapidian is truly Grand Rapids' news source. It belongs entirely to the people living in this city.
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Me (center) on an art beat trip to the GRAM

Me (center) on an art beat trip to the GRAM /Carol Shirey

I’ve been trying to find the words to describe what The Rapidian has meant to me for a few days now. There’s a lot that comes to mind, but my fear is that it will sound trite. However, as long as it’s the truth I don’t suppose it really matters if it sounds trite or not. So here goes:

The Rapidian has been one of the most empowering organizations I’ve interacted with in my life.

I relocated from California to Grand Rapids about a year and a half ago, and about five months after that I decided to join The Rapidian as a citizen reporter. As the new kid in town struggling to figure everything out, this was the best decision I could have ever made. Becoming a citizen journalist helped me narrow my focus and enabled me to tap into this community in ways I don’t believe I could have managed on my own.

The Rapidian is a truly empowering tool within the Grand Rapids community. I had no previous professional writing experience before signing on as a citizen reporter. I just thought maybe this was something I could be good at. For any other news publication that’s not enough. They require experience and more often than not they require an education in the field. The Rapidian not only offers individuals the chance to publish their work, but it provides the tools for an actual education in journalism as well.

As both a reporter and an intern I’ve learned more with The Rapidian than I think I would have studying journalism for a year in college. Doing is the best way to learn something, and my belief in that adage has only solidified in the last year.

In addition to the experience and opportunities it offers this city’s citizens, The Rapidian presents news in a refreshingly accessible format. It reports on what we care about, whether or not it’s something that would traditionally be considered newsworthy.

The Rapidian is truly Grand Rapids’ news source. It belongs entirely to the people living in this city. They read it, they dictate content, they write it and they care about it on a personal level. That’s more than most news organizations can say.


Take a moment now to join me in supporting The Rapidian in their spring fund drive by donating now.

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