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

Indianapolis – On 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.

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 recent 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.

Matt Franklin, the program’s producer and Vice President of TV Operations for Lakeshore Public Media, tried to bring together panelists and audience members to “engage in honest communication.  We needed to hear multiple points of view on these topics – that is the key to having a civil discussion.” Franklin said 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.”

James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media, welcomed the opportunity to participate in these regional conversations.   “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.

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.

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.


Lakeshore Public Media provides quality local and original programming that educates, enlightens, and informs. Lakeshore Public Media chooses the best of NPR and PBS and other public media providers, broadcasting to millions of homes throughout Northwest Indiana, Chicago and its surrounding suburbs.  Lakeshore Public Radio can be heard on 89.1fm.   Lakeshore PBS broadcasts its main channel over the air on 56, on Comcast on 17 or 21 (HD Channel 239), on RCN Cable on 44, on Dish Network (HD Channel 6320), AT&T U-verse (HD Channel 1056) and DirecTV on 56.