MERRILLVILLE— Lakeshore Public Media continues to focus its media resources and messaging to educate and inform viewers and listeners in response to the Coronavirus outbreak.
“There is no telling how long this crisis will continue, but we will be there to inform listeners and viewers with reliable, trustworthy, and fact-based news and resources,” said James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media. “We are sharing information and programming on-line and on-air that offers local, state-wide and national perspectives.
Lakeshore Public Radio has initiated local conversations with key members of the community on its program Regionally Speaking, which airs Monday through Thursdays at Noon. The following are just a sample of the interviews featured on its program during the COVID 19 outbreak:
- Erik Mikaitis, Vice President of Medical Affairs for Franciscan Health of Crown Point, told of the urgent need for Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for healthcare workers.
- Indiana Attorney General Curtis Hill AG Hill warned listeners of scams related to COVID-19
- Sadiqa Kendia had a conversation about ‘Keeping Kids Safe Around Medicine’ in light of kids being home from school during the ‘shelter in place’ order.
- Gary Community School Corporation Emergency Manager Dr. Paige McNulty offered the school district’s response to the mandatory ‘shelter in place’ order as well as what they are doing to ensure students receive breakfast and lunch during this lockdown
- Lake County Sheriff Oscar Martinez, Jr. had a conversation with Lakeshore Public Radio’s Sharon Jackson about what the shelter in place order really means as it impacts Lake County.
- Lake County Area United Way President Lisa Daughtery discussed the launch of the NWI COVID-19 Community Economic Relief Fund.
- Indiana State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Merrillville) offered his take on bills he authored or sponsored during the 2020 Indiana Legislative Session as well as the Indiana response to the Coronovirus outbreak.
- Jill Gonzalez of WalletHub.com commented on a recent study citing Indiana as one of the least aggressive states against COVID-19
In partnership with the Indiana Broadcasters Association, the NPR affiliate in Northwest Indiana has been providing airing COVID-19 radio reports and updates throughout the broadcast day as news develops.
There’s also a landing page for information that the digital team at Lakeshore Public Media has gathered by its staff and partners, including IPB News, NPR, the Associated Press, the CDC and the state of Indiana and Illinois. The information is available online at lakeshorepbs.org/covid19.
Lakeshore PBS has aired several of Gov. Eric Holcomb’s addresses to Hoosiers about the Coronavirus, including his statewide stay-at-home announcement on March 23 and the ongoing updates from Holcomb and other state and health officials broadcast live from Indianapolis at 1:30pm CST.
Throughout the day, the public television station has been airing Coronavirus Updates regarding COVID-19 produced by The Health Channel and South Florida PBS. These one minute interstitials educate viewers on a variety of factors related to the outbreak, such as ‘Talking to Children’, ‘Cleaning Away the Coronavirus’ and ‘What is Social Distancing’.
In addition, Lakeshore PBS has shared stories on-air and online of people and businesses in the community working to help with this pandemic. One recent segment on 18th Street Distillery in Hammond spotlighted how the local business changed their production from spirits to hand sanitizer to combat the spread of the Coronavirus.
“We’re all working together to maintain the level of service you’ve come to expect from us. Trust that we’re doing our best,” Muhammad said. “We expect to remain open, keeping some people working remotely with a few people in the main office for the duration of this challenging time. We’ll adapt as necessary to keep running as-close-to-usual as possible.”
The Lakeshore offices are closed to the public until further notice, but the station will still be available to viewers and members by phone at 219-756-5656 and through its lakeshorepublicmedia.org website. Lakeshore will continue to monitor the situation and will follow guidance from public health officials and government agencies, so the station can continue to support people as needed.
Lakeshore PBS serves the region as a member of the PBS WARN system, which uses a portion of its broadcast bandwidth to distribute emergency messages from FEMA to Commercial Mobile Service Providers. The TV station delivers cellular mobile alerts as needed, offering immunity from internet disruptions and adding reliability to the emergency alert system.
Lakeshore Public Media is a community-license public media organization that is the Northwest Indiana member of the Indiana Public Broadcasting Stations, serving Indiana’s second largest urban area through their Lakeshore PBS and Lakeshore Public Radio service.