Local that Works

Local that Works is an annual contest that spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations, and nonprofit news organizations in the U.S.

Explore the curated LTW database of 350+ projects. Entries from the 2020 contest will be added to this database this fall.

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.

You can filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. If you want to change, broaden or narrow the results, make sure to uncheck categories for subsequent searches.

To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semi-finalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorite projects will show up in the left column.

Get inspired!

70 results found.

Faces of Hunger

Carolina Public Press

The Faces of Hunger project was a yearlong journalism and community dialogue initiative from Carolina Public Press that focused on issues of hunger and food insecurity in rural North Carolina. Through in-depth multimedia reporting, resource sharing and free community events, and news and community partnerships that highlighted dialogue and potential solutions, Carolina Public Press shined the spotlight on the issues and systems contributing to hunger and food hardship in the state.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

PBS Wisconsin

PBS Wisconsin shares the voices and talents of students of color involved in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Scholarship program in the documentary “Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars.” By addressing local disparities in accessibility, representation, and education, we help Wisconsin educators be better prepared to implement culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms.

The Learning Space

Maine Public

“The Learning Space” is an educational program created by Maine Public in partnership with the Maine Department of Education and Educate Maine. It is geared toward students in grades 3-5 and their teachers, and is intended to help bridge the gap for students without reliable internet access during COVID-19. It aired on Maine Public’s primary television channel and reached more than 180,000 people per episode, or roughly 90 classrooms.

CareerExplore Northwest


CareerExplore Northwest is an educational initiative created by KSPS PBS as a workforce development solution for our viewing region. Far beyond a typical job search website, it helps students and adults discover viable career paths by providing behind-the-scenes videos and easily accessible answers to questions about in-demand jobs in the Spokane region and what it takes to get them.

Valley PBS Local Learning


In partnership with Fresno Unified School District, the 3rd largest in the state of California and a district with 90% economically disadvantaged and diverse students living below the poverty line without equal access to online learning, Valley PBS created an on-air program from 8am – 9am each day that targets Literacy Lessons for K, 1st, 2nd and 3rd graders and is taught by FUSD teachers. Students have been able to learn and review fundamentals over-the-air, streaming on Facebook Live daily and on the website since June and lessons are translated into Spanish and Hmong as well; the program has just been extended until December 18th and expanded to include Pre-K and T-K lessons.

@myVPM on Instagram


VPM’s Instagram is a social media strategy that provides a platform to highlight Virginians who educate, entertain and inspire. This strategy has manifest itself through quality and expressive portrait photography, intimate first-person story telling and remarkable community building. VPM’s Instagram gained over 4,000 followers since taking on this strategy, increased our engagement and built new collaborations with local organizations.

Faces of Hunger

Carolina Public Press
Nonprofit News Org/Other
Angie Newsome

The Faces of Hunger project was a yearlong journalism and community engagement effort focused on the people and communities facing hunger and food insecurity in rural North Carolina. With more than half of North Carolina’s 100 counties being, or are at risk of becoming, news deserts, Carolina Public Press (CPP) explored the causes of hunger in communities that have received little sustained or concentrated journalistic coverage of the issue.

CPP worked with several different media outlets and held public events to highlight the issues and systems contributing to hunger and food hardship, which impact an estimated 1.5 million North Carolinians. Throughout the series, our nonpartisan, nonprofit news organization explored potential solutions, from local efforts to statewide policies and programming.

Additionally, CPP worked with 11 local, regional, and statewide hunger-related organizations and collaborated with four to better understand, report on, and build audiences and support for the journalism and community engagement program.

As a result, CPP produced a total of 14 news reports that included audio, video, and photography. We also organized and held community forums highlighting local issues related to hunger in a total of five rural communities. These forums included 11 different organizations and 13 speakers from food pantries, statewide data and policy experts, individuals living with food insecurity, healthcare providers, religious organizations, senior citizen organizations, schools, and the First Lady of North Carolina.

In addition to publishing data-rich news reports, we worked with five media partners to help conduct and amplify reporting. We also organized and held two hunger resource fairs that served more than 150 residents in rural parts of the state, providing direct access to food and food pantries, health screenings, long-term resources, legal aid, and more.

We know this project had real impact in the communities we cover, especially as witnessed during our community forums and resource fairs. Using Google Analytics, we measured a 39% increase in rural audiences served by the series. We know some of the featured organizations networked with one another for the first time, building relationships and sharing resources, while others went on to coordinate conversations about long-term solutions to food insecurity in their areas.