Local that Works

Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit and digital news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local civic journalism.

Explore the database of 553 Local that Works projects. Check out Local that Works contest Winners, Finalists and Semifinalists by clicking on those colored tags. 

Other tips on using the database: If viewing this on a computer, all projects are listed in the left column. Click on a project name and its longer profile will appear in the right column. If viewing on mobile, clicking on a project name will load the full listing on your screen.

Filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. IMPORTANT: Make sure to deselect your checked categories for subsequent searches.

23 results found.

Classical IPR’s Kids Commute

WIAA - Classical Interlochen Public Radio 88.7 FM, Interlochen, MI

Every weekday morning, Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) presents Kids Commute, an interactive exploration of classical music centered around weekly themes (such as mermaids, opera and elephants) that are designed to educate and entertain the youngest listeners. Kids Commute also explores ballets, their stories, and the music that goes along with them. This interactive radio experience delivers strategies for early childhood artistic development that can be easily replicated in a variety of genres.

Million Minute Challenge

WLVT PBS39 Lehigh Valley Public Media

The Million Minute Challenge was an initiative to get people of all ages and backgrounds in Lehigh Valley reading. We asked our community to come together to read 1,000,000 minutes in March 2020, Reading Awareness Month, and what resulted was a fun, engaging, exciting, audience-captivating event that surpassed its goals and put reading at the center.

KPBS Explore Local Content Project


KPBS launched the “Explore” program in 2012 as an experiment to grow the station’s library of local programs while cultivating new, young and diverse talent. Every two years, KPBS opens a community-wide call for content ideas and offers seed funding to create local TV shows, web series and podcasts. The producers retain ownership of their project and are responsible for raising the extra funds needed to stay afloat. The program has spawned four podcasts and more than a dozen TV and web series.

Good Neighbor Awards

Public TV
Ron Ticho

The COVID-19 pandemic created several challenges this past year especially for non-profit organizations who often rely on traditional annual in-person fundraisers to advance their mission in the community. Often those in-person events take the opportunity to recognize and honor local philanthropists and corporations who historically support their organization. Most organizations simply turned their traditional events into virtual events, but we knew we had to try something different.

We decided to turn our attention to the “good neighbors” who immediately responded to the critical needs of our community amidst a year of crisis and unrest. Driven by the theme “Good Neighbors Live Here,” we honored our region’s two largest healthcare providers – Lehigh Valley Health Network and St. Lukes University Health Network, along with Second Harvest Food Bank. These non-profit organizations saved thousands of lives in our community.

We produced special video segments featuring our honorees along with other local heroes and they served as the centerpiece of a production which aired on PBS39 on May 25th while also being livestreamed on PBS39.org and on Facebook live. We announced on the broadcast the establishment of the Good Neighbor Fund to address the critical needs of our community by delivering educational programs and resources to children, parents and educators. The produced event included salutes from PBS national talent including Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the host of Finding Your Roots, Joan Lunden, host of Second Opinion, and Jim Cotter, host of Articulate. We leveraged social media, connecting with the followers of our honorees and we generated significant buzz and visibility building up to the broadcast with testimonials from community leaders and board members. We presented each of the honorees with framed “Red Sweaters” (the same cardigan version that Fred Rogers famously wore each episode) recognizing their contributions.

We were able to turn what otherwise would have been just another virtual event and turned it into a community-wide celebration. The success of the event was a testament to our theme “Good Neighbors Live Here.”

Proceeds raised from the event and the Good Neighbor Fund directly support educational initiatives in the community. Specifically, over 185,000 students, families and educators were the beneficiaries of PBS39's educational outreach programs which stemmed across 24 school districts in our region. That outreach included the construction and distribution of over 5,000 "Smart Sacks" filled with STEAM educational activities for children and their families; the development and launch of online resources and professional development opportunities for our teachers; and the expansion of literacy initiatives like Raising Readers and Lehigh Valley Reads that seek to help students achieve grade-level reading standards.

We were able to raise $65,000 to support the event and to establish the Good Neighbor Fund. The event's title sponsor Highmark Blue Shield provided a matching gift which spurred on additional contributions. The fund was established primarily through the support of 10 corporate sponsors and 25 individual donors.