Michael Symonds tackles the rural meets metro beat at WMUK 102.1 FM in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Symonds started his journalistic career as staff reporter with the Western Herald covering news and community, and cultural issues and events on Western Michigan University’s campus. After this position, Symonds worked as the lead Community & Culture reporter for the Western Herald. In addition to this, he worked as a general assignment staff reporter for WMUK 102.1 FM covering life in Southwest Michigan and hosted the talk show Stupid Questions on 89.1 WIDR FM, where he interviewed myriad guests including political experts and registered student organization leaders. Symonds graduated from Western Michigan University in 2023 with a bachelor’s in journalism and digital media.
Beat: Rural meets metro
Southwestern Michigan is full of relationships that bridge the rural-metropolitan divide. This reporter covers issues affecting rural, suburban and urban listeners—people who may feel disconnected from one another despite their proximity. The goal is to illustrate how one place in our geographically diverse coverage area has value to another, even when those places lean in opposite directions politically.