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Lakeshore Public Television awarded for conversations about race and policing

Lakeshore Public Media's Connor Burge works on Prep Sports Report in February at the television station's studio in Merrillville.

Merrillville-based Lakeshore Public Broadcasting is getting recognized for its efforts to foster dialogue about race and policing in Northwest Indiana.

The Indiana Broadcasters Association recently awarded Lakeshore PBS its statewide Spectrum Award for Local Community Involvement at its annual awards ceremony in Carmel.

Earlier this year, the local public broadcasting station had a series of town halls in Gary, Valparaiso and Michigan City with panel discussions about race, justice, community and policing. Dr. Garrard McClendon, host of the public affairs show CounterPoint with Garrard McClendon, moderated talks between law enforcement leaders, elected officials, faith-based organizations and community groups.

Lakeshore later broadcast the community discussions so they could reach an even wider audience.

“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,” Lakeshore Public Media President and Chief Executive Officer James 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.” 

Lakeshore PBS, which was founded as WYIN Channel 56 in November of 1987, also was a runner-up for Station of the Year outside Indianapolis, coming in second to WPTA in Fort Wayne.

The PBS affiliate, which has broadcasting tower in Lowell, airs locally produced shows as well as syndicated programs like Austin City Limits, America's Test Kitchen, Charlie Rose, Inside Indiana Business, Savor Indiana and Genius with Stephen Hawking. It's a free channel that's also available on cable across Northwest Indiana and the greater Chicago area. 

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Joseph S. Pete is a Lisagor Award-winning business reporter who covers steel, industry, unions, the ports, retail, banking and more. The Indiana University grad has been with The Times since 2013 and blogs about craft beer, culture and the military.