The Rapidian

Using neighborhood news bureaus to strengthen links

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The Rapidian will be exploring venues for neighborhood news bureaus in a few weeks.

The Rapidian will be exploring venues for neighborhood news bureaus in a few weeks. /Steven DePolo

From The Rapidian staff*: Currently, The Rapidian is primarily an online news platform, facilitating and distributing text, video and audio reports generated by people in our community. But as designed, it is also intended to have a real, physical, place-based presence. While the only real physical space lives in an office at 1110 Wealthy St. or wherever a meet-up or press pit happens to take place, that may soon change.

As we look ahead to year two of The Rapidian—The Rapidian’s birthday is September 15—we're revisiting the roots and original name of our project: “Neighborhood News Bureaus.” It is time to begin the identification of partner spaces where communities can receive tools, training and support to better participate in citizen reporting activities.

Beginning in a few weeks, The Rapidian will be accepting applications from community-based organizations and venues that want to help their friends, clients, neighbors and constituents better engage in community communications. Do you know an organization that works with youth looking for their voice? Do you serve seniors who could share their perspectives and observations with the greater community? Do you represent an under-reported or under represented sector of our community? Does your organization represent a specific geographic neighborhood?

In short, we will be asking How can citizen journalism help your organization achieve its mission, empower the communities you target and amplify the voices of those you serve?”

We are currently seeking to provide computer and production equipment, training, support and a modest stipend to up to four Grand Rapids based nonprofit organizations that want to add citizen reporting to their activities and services. Interested organizations will be asked to complete a questionnaire, outlining their interests in the project and their plans should they be chosen.

Look for a formal announcement in the next few weeks. In the meantime, drop me a line if you have an interested organization in mind. We’ll put you on the list! Send inquiries to [email protected].

Each week, a Rapidian staffer will publish a piece related to goings-on at The Rapidian, developments in the world of citizen journalism and tips for making the most of the site.

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.


This could be a great opportunity for nonprofits!  We're always looking for more ways to tell the stories of the kids we serve, but too often mainstream media just isn't interested.  Do you have any partnership with GRCMC?  Are you thinking about making training for nonprofit staff available even if they don't get or aren't interested in the stipend?  (For instance, I have the equipment and technical know-how, but very little experience in journalism.)


First off the Rapidian is a service of the GRCMC.

We also have periodic Rapidian sessions for NPOs to help them use the the site and we can help with training. We are planning an NPO session soon. We'll see that you get notified!