Five finalists to compete for $20,000 Local that Works grand prize

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I’m pleased to announce the finalists in the 2022 Local that Works contest!  

The annual contest is part of Current’s collaborative project to showcase exceptional content and engagement projects that other media can replicate or scale. Our judges have selected five finalists from a pool of 96 submissions.

Among the 96 entries, 27 came from public radio stations, 20 from public TV and 15 from joint licensees. Nonprofit newsrooms, digital sites and other media groups submitted 34 entries.

Here are the five projects that will compete for the $20,000 grand prize in the Local that Works Grand Finale Thursday, Nov. 17:

“After the Assault” by CapRadio of Sacramento, Calif. “After the Assault” is a multiplatform participatory journalism project that explores the experiences of survivors of sexual assault as they struggle to find justice and healing. The project engaged sexual assault survivors in the editorial process. “After the Assault” included a seven-part podcast series, multiple broadcast features and talk show segments, and a “Guide to Reporting Sexual Assault in Sacramento County,” as well as resources to train law enforcement, counselors and advocates.

Check Your Judges by Injustice Watch. Check Your Judges is a nonpartisan judicial election guide that informs residents of Cook County, Ill., about the 75 people running for judicial positions. The guide educates voters about the importance of judicial elections and empowers people to make informed choices. Injustice Watch printed 180,000 copies of the guide and distributed them in all of Chicago’s 77 neighborhoods, including communities most affected by the court system.

Great Salt Lake Collaborative is a solutions journalism and community engagement project that documents environmental changes to Utah’s Great Salt Lake and shares news coverage about water policy and conservation. Thirteen news organizations are collaborating on producing and distributing content, and 10 community organizations are educating residents about how to protect the lake. Multiplatform elements of the project include policymaker forums, lake tours, a trivia gaming night, a radio and podcast series, and film screenings.

Minnehistories by TPT – Twin Cities PBS. “Minnehistories” are short videos produced for TikTok that share important stories from Minnesota history and reach a younger, more diverse demographic than they would through broadcast. Blending eye-catching visuals, compelling storytelling and archival material, “Minnehistories” also highlights undertold stories, such as those of BIPOC residents of Minnesota.

“Vote with Confidence: A Guide from the Detroit Documenters.” This project of Outlier Media is a step-by-step voting guide that explained the importance of the primary elections, described the jobs of public officials and detailed how voters can cast their ballots. The guide also explained how to research the voting records of candidates and follow the money in campaigns. Outlier Media collaborated with Michigan Radio on this project. The content was also distributed online by Bridge Detroit and in print by Detroit Metro Times.

Each of these finalists will present their projects at an online Grand Finale Tuesday, Nov. 15, at 2 pm Eastern time. Attendance is free and open to all. Following the presentations, participants will cast votes to select the winner of the $20,000 grand prize, made possible by the Wyncote Foundation.

If you wish to receive an invitation to the Grand Finale, make sure to sign up for Current’s newsletter.

As we congratulate our finalists, we also want to give a shout out to 14 impressive projects that were selected as semifinalists:

  • “Black Arts Legacies,” Crosscut/Cascade Public Media, Seattle
  • “Cooked: The search for sustainable eats,” WBUR, Boston
  • Conecta Arizona of Phoenix
  • “Career Explore Northwest,” KSPS PBS, Spokane, Wash.
  • Documented Semanal, New York City
  • Emergency Broadcasting 101, KVMR, Nevada City, Calif.  
  • “Explore Milwaukee with 88Nine,” Radio Milwaukee
  • “HBCU Week” from Maryland Public Television
  • Kansas City PBS Reproductive Rights Initiative, Kansas City, Mo.
  • “Local Live(s)” from Back Pocket Media
  • Louisville Public Media Podcast Incubator, Louisville, Ky.
  • Latino Communities Reporting Lab (Reportajes de la Comunidad Latina), RJ Media Group, Meriden, Conn.
  • “Safe Haven: Louisiana’s Green Book,” Louisiana Public Broadcasting
  • “Stronger Together with Sesame Street,” KLRN, San Antonio, Texas

Thanks to our judges this year: digital business development consultant Jan Boyd, Andrew DeVigal of Gather, Christine Paige Diers of the Public Media Journalists Association, Mark Fuerst of Public Media Futures and Kristen Hare of the Poynter Institute.

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