Friends & Neighbors works because we’ve embraced that there isn’t a singular identity that represents our service area. Northwest Indiana has often been overshadowed by Chicago and it’s media outlets. Their media coverage of NWI rarely extends beyond traditional news. The coverage area of Lakeshore PBS includes all of Chicagoland but our main focus is a diverse area of 7 counties in NWI. That area includes a National Park, the urban cities of Gary and Hammond, suburbs and rural and agricultural areas.
Friends & Neighbors began 3 years ago as a way to celebrate that we are neighbors to Chicago and we would like to extend a friendly hand by showing what NWI has to offer. We did this by showing a variety of stories from innovative mom-and-pop shops, DIY philanthropic efforts, and lifestyle. Our motivation was to show that local not only matters for economic and social reasons but also because passion is contagious. We believe that seeing our friends and neighbors engaged with their communities in a way that is fulfilling will only perpetuate novel ideas for others.
We believe that the people and their motivation behind their passions are what triggers empathy and empathy is what makes people good friends and neighbors.
The format allows us to repurpose content for broadcast and social media. As diverse as our viewing area is, so are our viewers’ habits.