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Join me: How I got into journalism

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/courtesy of Nick Manes

When people ask me how I became a journalist, I usually say, "I stumbled into it."

At the age of 24 I got laid off after working at Coca-Cola for five years. At that time I thought my career would be as a soda salesmen. I shudder to think of that now, but back then getting laid off was kind of devastating. It was 2009, I had no college degree and no serious job prospects. It was around that time that someone mentioned to me about a new citizen journalism site starting up in the city.

I signed up as a reporter early on. It took me some time to wind up doing a story but I was happy with my first venture. Photographer Jon Clay and I ventured to Woodland Mall to interview people camped out for a book signing with a certain one-term Alaskan governor who once ran for Vice President. From there I collaborated with another citizen journalist, Michael Tuffelmire, to do a series about development and how it impacts the homeless population in the Heartside neighborhood.

I continued as a reporter for a while, mainly reporting on political and social justice issues. In the fall of 2011 I accepted an internship where I helped start the politcs beat. We covered city commission meetings, food trucks, and marijuana decriminalization. Even though I'm no longer directly involved, it pleases me to know that the beat goes on.

Throughout my time at The Rapidian I have freelanced for other local publications like Revue Magazine and Rapid Growth Media. I'm happy to report that I am now a staff reporter at MiBiz, a B2B (business to business) publication.

I firmly believe that without The Rapidian I would not be where I am now, which is to say a working reporter. It has allowed me the freedom to report on issues and events in the community that mattered to me.

The Rapidian has been a great addition and an even greater compliment to the West Michigan media scene. I am privileged to continue on there as an editorial mentor and help train new reporters. I hope the community continues to support it and recognize its potential to be a unique voice in the community.

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

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Congratulations Nick! Nice article.