Public radio from Western Michigan University 102.1 NPR News | 89.9 Classical WMUK
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations

WMUK Welcomes Report for America corps member Michael Symonds

Michael Symonds
Mark Bugnaski
Michael Symonds

Michael will cover a beat called "rural meets metro" for WMUK

WMUK is pleased to welcome Michael Symonds to our full-time news staff. Michael comes to WMUK as a Report for America corps member. The national service program was founded to help with staffing at shrinking newsrooms around the country.

Report for America is a competitive process for both media organizations and journalists. WMUK was one of about 30 new newsrooms selected to host reporters beginning in 2023. Newsrooms have to propose a beat for corps members. WMUK’s beat is called “rural meets metro” and is designed to find the ties between urban and rural areas, while also exploring what makes them distinct.

Michael Symonds is a former WMUK intern, but applied independently to Report for America to be a corps member. He was one of five candidates interviewed for the position, and we are thrilled to welcome him to WMUK (again).

The Report for America program, an initiative of the Ground Truth Project, provides half of the reporter’s salary for the first year. There is an option for a second and third year, with a decreasing percentage paid by RFA each year. Media organizations have to raise the rest of the money to pay their reporters. WMUK will be seeking donations to help sustain this reporting.

Gordon Evans became WMUK's Content Director in 2019 after more than 20 years as an anchor, host and reporter. A 1990 graduate of Michigan State, he began work at WMUK in 1996.