A few weeks ago I experienced a brief moment of sadness, followed by a familiar sense of pride.
The day after Julian Bond died, WMUK replayed an interview we had recorded in 2014 with the civil-rights leader. Like millions of Americans, I miss Bond’s rational leadership and mourn his passing.
Now for the pride. I usually associate Julian Bond with the struggles of the sixties and that unique period in American history. But as I listened to our interview, his voice seemed fresh, relevant and informative on issues we face as a society today, particularly issues related to the new civil rights movement, post-Ferguson struggles and issues related to members of the LGBT community. This was due in no small part to WMUK news interviewer, Earlene McMichael. Her insightful questions helped reveal Bond’s involvement in many aspects of the civil right movement continuing into the present day.
The pride I felt in listening to this story has much to do with the quality, research and professionalism WMUK’s News staff brings to features, stories and interviews we air on WMUK every day. That sense of pride is a familiar feeling because it is often evoked by the thorough and reasoned interviews that Gordon Evans conducts with civic leaders, decision makers and candidates for office. It’s the same sense of pride I feel when I hear “Arts & More” features on the arts in our community, or stories about environmental or educational issues related to the place where we live.
If you need ample evidence of the high standards of WMUK’s News staff, look no further than the awards for Broadcast Excellence from the Michigan Association of Broadcasters inside the glass window of our main broadcast studio. Three national awards recently presented by the Public Radio News Directors will soon be added. Once again, I feel a sense of pride when I walk by this array of achievement for WMUK news.
One new series of features to look for from WMUK News is “Why’s That?”, modeled on a groundbreaking public radio program from WBEZ Chicago. “Why’s That?” explores anything and everything in Southwest Michigan that people wonder about. Most importantly, the questions come from you, the WMUK audience. Ask your questions or make suggestions for stories at wmuk.org.
As you listen to the stories produced by WMUK News, I hope that the sense of pride that I experience both in our community and in WMUK’s news staff will be contagious.