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Indiana Broadcasters Association Honors Lakeshore PBS with 2017 Spectrum Award for Local Community Involvement


Indianapolis – On Friday November 3, Lakeshore PBS was honored by the Indiana Broadcasters Association with its statewide Spectrum Award for Local Community Involvement, for the station’s efforts to foster community conversations about race and community policing across NW Indiana.

The awards were given at lunch that was held in Carmel, IN, honoring excellence in broadcasting throughout the past year.   Lakeshore PBS was also a runner-up for Station of the Year in Market 2 (outside Indianapolis), with the honors going to WPTA, the ABC affiliate in Fort Wayne.

Lakeshore PBS, located in Merrillville, Indiana, partnered with the City of Gary and the Urban League of Northwest Indiana to host its first town hall event titled Race, Justice, Community and Policing.  The public forum explored the role of race in policing efforts across the diverse Northwest Indiana communities.  The first town hall meeting took place at the Genesis Convention Center in Gary, Indiana.

Additional events were produced with help from the NWI Coalition for Civil Discourse, a group comprised of partners from the government, non-profit, education and corporate sectors committed to furthering dialogue for the public good. The NWI Coalition for Civil Discourse includes the Urban League of Northwest Indiana, Valparaiso University, Lakeshore Public Media, the City of Valparaiso and the City of Gary, with support from NIPSCO and other community organizations

The second event in the series was hosted by Valparaiso University, with a third event was held at the Michigan City High School. The meetings were moderated by Dr. Garrard McClendon, a native of Northwest Indiana and host of Lakeshore’s public affairs show, CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon.

The panelists included representatives from law enforcement and government officials as well as representatives from community groups and faith-based organizations.  The group answered questions from a wide range of citizens across Northwest Indiana in sessions that went over the original two hour schedule. The first hour of each forum was recorded, and aired the following night on Lakeshore PBS.

James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, welcomed the opportunity to participate in these community conversation.  “The town halls were a great way to get these conversations started to prevent incidents that have happened nationally from happening here in Northwest Indiana,” Muhammad said. “To be recognized by the Indiana Broadcasters for our work is a great honor, and validates our commitment and our efforts to serve our audience – both on-air and out in the community,” Muhammad stated.

This was the 30th year of the Spectrum Awards.  Lakeshore PBS recently celebrated its 30th anniversary, having been formed in November 1987 as WYIN Channel 56.