Reporter Michael Puente is a Finalist for a Peter Lisagor Award for Best Public Affairs Programming for Lakeshore Public Radio

Lakeshore Public Media is pleased to announce that Michael Puente has been nominated for a prestigious Peter Lisagor Award by the Chicago Headline Club for quality journalism.

Puente’s remembrance of Richard Hatcher, the former Mayor of Gary, from December 20, 2019 was nominated for Best Public Affairs Programming from the Chicago Headline Club, the nation’s largest chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Off Mic with Michael Puente bridges the gap between Northwest Indiana and Chicago by bringing the latest news from both communities. Puente’s work as host of Off Mic began in October of 2019, as a partnership between Lakeshore Public Radio and WBEZ, where he serves as a reporter for the Northwest Indiana Bureau.

“We are thrilled that the stellar work of one of Northwest Indiana’s own has been recognized with this prestigious award nomination,” said James A. Muhammad, President and CEO of Lakeshore Public Media.  “We are proud of his work and of our ongoing collaboration with WBEZ.”

The Lisagors are an annual celebration of the best journalism produced throughout the region, spanning all mediums including print, radio, television and digital.  Nominations were selected from news media journalists based in Illinois or Northwest Indiana for work published or aired in 2019.

Founded in 1921, the Chicago Headline Club is dedicated to supporting journalists and promoting the values of a free press across the region.   Puente is also nominated for Best Reporter for his reporting on WBEZ, an award that he won the year before.

“To be recognized by such a well-regarded independent nonprofit like the Chicago Headline Club is a great honor,” Muhammad stated. “It validates our commitment and our efforts to serve our audience with facts-based reporting that is free of bias.”

Lisagor was one of the nation’s most respected and well-known journalists, serving as the Chicago Daily News Washington bureau chief from 1959 to 1976.  The Chicago Headline Club established the Lisagor Awards in 1977 to inspire Chicago-area journalists to follow his outstanding example and to recognize truly superior contributions to journalism.

Winners were to be announced at The Chicago Headline Club’s annual Lisagor Awards dinner on Friday, May 15, 2020 at the Union League Club.  Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Lisagors banquet is cancelled, but there are plans for a virtual celebration to announce the winners in May.

Off Mic with Michael Puente airs each Friday at 11 AM on Lakeshore Public Radio, 89.1 FM.