The Rapidian

Our place, your voices: Power of the people with citizen journalism

I remember discovering citizen journalism in 1969 when I first read a copy of the Chicago Seed. Here in Grand Rapids, it's up to us to keep citizen journalism alive and well with a donation during The Rapidian's fund drive.

Support our place, your voices with an investment in The Rapidian Today

The Rapidian is your hyperlocal news source powered by citizen journalism. Everything on The Rapidian is about our place- Grand Rapids, Michigan- and written by your voices. Neighbors keeping neighbors informed about local businesses, events, and issues. 


As an open and welcoming platform for all voices, the Rapidian is truly powered by the people. Please keep the power going with a donation today. This is our place, and these are your voices.


During our Spring Fund Drive, we also have special ways to thank our donors! Along with new ways to show your Rapidian love with pencils, Issue Press notebooks and Citizenshirt bags, we also have great gift certificates donated to the cause from these fine establishments:

/Courtesy of Gretchen Vinnedge

/Gretchen Vinnedge

Written by Gretchen Vinnedge, Education Director at the Community Media Center


Citizen journalism is “the act of private citizens playing an active role in the process of collecting, reporting and discussing news and information.”

I have been a reader, supporter and contributor to citizen journalism since 1969 when I first read a copy of the Chicago Seed.  In those days, it was called an underground newspaper. The paper was written by people from the neighborhood that then typed and published it by hand.  You bought them on the corner from a “hippie” who was usually also selling weed.

I was infatuated. The stories were nothing like what you read in a regular newspaper or saw on the network news. They were written by people just like me, and opinions were expressed without censorship. The big issues then were the Vietnam War, the environment, music, art and “Free Love.” Later that year, I moved to Indianapolis and got in on the ground floor of the Indianapolis “Grass Roots” where I became the graphic artist, drawing political cartoons and all of the ads. I also helped distribute the paper whenever I wasn’t working on getting the latest issue ready for print.

That sense of support and freedom of access to communication stayed with me through the years, even as I moved on to get married, and raising a family.  I felt it was even more important that media not be controlled by our government or a small percentage of the population who had money to pay for producing it and getting it aired on a network station.

I distinctly remember cable coming into our lives and with it, public access television. When I moved to the area in the mid-1970s, I was thrilled to find GRTV, a station where anyone can bring in a video they have produced and have it aired with no questions asked. How amazing is that? How wonderful that Grand Rapids is committed to making sure citizens have this option available to share the news from their point of view? You know, the news that just never seems to make it on the local network channel, the positive and real stories about the inner city that are always overshadowed by stories about a shooting or a big corporate event.

Many different media options have sprung from GRTV, including the city’s first hyper local on line newspaper, The Rapidian in 2009. All of the reporters are people from the community, writing and telling stories about our town, our hidden treasures, the wonderful people who live here, the little businesses you might otherwise not know exist, the nonprofits that are here to help you when needed and so much more.

The Rapidian wouldn’t exist without you, the reader and the writer. It couldn’t exist without funding to keep the website up and running, to provide training for potential writers and nonprofit organizations so they can get their messages, services and events out there, and to keep the platform running.

The Rapidian is a community lifeline, and truly a product of the people who live here.  

Now is the time to support one of Grand Rapids’ treasures by making a donation to The Rapidian. It’s up to all of us to keep citizen journalism alive and well!  


During The Rapidian’s online fund drive, we are reminded that this highly valued news source runs on money. The Rapidian needs your help to continue providing content that is important to you. Please give what feels right to you at

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.