Local that Works

Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit 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 journalism.

Explore the database of 400+ Local that Works projects. To see previous Local that Works contest winners, finalists and semifinalists, click on green, purple or orange tags and our judges’ favorites will show up in the left column.

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.

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

Get inspired!

9 results found.

Board Explorer

PublicSource, Inc.

The Pittsburgh region is run in large part by more than 500 unelected board members of authorities, commissions and other governmental agencies who often decide what does and doesn’t get built, who gets contracts and grants, what rates and fees we pay, and more. This project sheds light on these panels and their roles, providing information about each member and inviting analysis of this important part of the region’s power structure.

The COVID-19 Brief


The COVID-19 Brief is a weekly live, call-in show with the Homer Unified Command-The City of Homer, South Peninsula Hospital, AK Dept of Public Health, and Kenai Peninsula Borough School District- to update the community on the local Covid-19 situation, allow listeners to call in and ask questions, and community leaders and healthcare professionals to disseminate vital information to the community.

The Daily Dose podcast

WYPR Your Public Radio Corporation

Launched in March 2020 as the coronavirus threat began to surge, “The Daily Dose” podcast serves as a twelve-minute evening roundup of WYPR’s latest local and state reporting on Maryland’s COVID-19 response, as well as a forum for community members who want to share their stories about everyday life during the pandemic. This daily podcast fosters greater knowledge, connection, and understanding for Marylanders navigating the ongoing public health crisis.

Live @ 5 and Local News Briefings


Through its partnership with local government, WCTE was able to broadcast live emergency updates from inside Putnam County’s Emergency Operations Center just hours after an EF4 tornado struck Cookeville, destroying entire subdivisions and killing more than 20 people. This capability existed because county officials partnered to provide WCTE with studio space, audio and video equipment and a direct internet link between the Emergency Management Agency building and WCTE’s Master Control.

COVID-19: Answers and Insight TV Mini-Series

WKAR Public Media

In response to the COVID-19 crisis WKAR shifted resources to launch a new show “COVID-19: Answers and Insight,” a weekly series of roundtable discussions with experts to examine the health crisis and provide the public with the much-needed accurate, timely information. The program aired on PBS stations across Michigan, with the first episode airing on March 26 — just two weeks after schools closed in Michigan and WKAR employees were directed to work from home – and all episodes were produced with host and guests connecting from their stay-at-home locations and all production roles modified to maintain the health and safety of producers, crew and engineers.

KVMR – Ready to Respond

KVMR - Nevada City Broadcast Group

In November of 2018, KVMR raised over $43,000 dollars in just one day for the survivors of the catastrophic Camp Fire in Paradise, CA located just an hour and a half away from the station. In addition to KVMR’s commitment to supporting their neighbors through efforts like this, the station is also the official Emergency Broadcaster in the region. During summer 2019, a team of 10 broadcasters were trained to take the lead in case of emergency.

Houston after Harvey

Houston Public Media

Hurricane Harvey became the nation’s worst rainstorm, flooding more than 154,000 homes across the Houston area and forcing local and state leaders to rethink long-term flood mitigation plans. “Houston after Harvey” is a multi-platform content initiative that examines the impact of the Texas Gulf Coast’s most severe storms through personal stories, intimate video interviews, and in-depth news coverage.

Fire Tracker App


Fire Tracker, KPCC’s tool for following & researching California wildfires, contains fire information displayed by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection — also known as CalFire — which protects more than 31 million acres of California’s privately-owned wildlands and provides emergency services in 36 of the State’s 58 counties.

Board Explorer

PublicSource, Inc.
Nonprofit News Org/Other
Mila Sanina

PublicSource’s Board Explorer project, launched in May 2020, sheds light on unelected board members of taxpayer-funded authorities, commissions, and other governmental agencies and their roles, providing information about each member and inviting analysis of this important part of the region’s power structure. We created a dedicated website for this project and published additional introductory stories to help readers understand why this project matters. The site is searchable by member or entity names and topic (e.g. affordable housing, infrastructure, health). The database not only educates users on who decision-makers are, what decisions are being made and when, but it will also show the interconnectivity of individuals heading the entities.

We started with 16 boards involved — directly or indirectly — in development. As the region copes with the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic and surging civil rights concerns, the operations of these boards are likely to affect our lives and futures more than ever. We published details on 14 additional boards that address public safety, public health and economic opportunity. Over the coming months, PublicSource will add more boards, further analysis and deeper looks at key members.

Our reporting brings about change by building connections, inspiring the community to speak up and push for policy changes. This project shines a light on how decisions are made that affect the everyday lives of millions of Pittsburgh and Allegheny County residents. It empowers readers to navigate the network of decision makers and consider what perspectives are represented, as well as those that may be missing. The appointment-based makeup of the boards points to a power of the County Executive position in our region that largely goes unremarked and unexamined. Our project not only put names and faces to those making decisions that will affect the Pittsburgh region for decades to come, it examines the question of whether the boards are representative enough of their communities to produce equitable development. Board Explorer is a tool to illustrate the interconnectedness of those in power locally, pinpoint and discover potential conflicts of interest and identify who is accountable for distribution of resources in our community.

Through this project, we have already shown that there is a lack of representation of younger people under age 30 on boards across the county. We also have identified gaps in representation of specific constituencies, for example a geographic area with serious air-quality issues has no residents serving on the air quality commission. The Board Explorer has also demonstrated gaps in how the county is following procedures for filling board seats and term limits required by law. We expect this tool to continue to be an accountability mechanism for our local government.