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.
112 results found.
Small businesses are major drivers of our economy and show higher rates of ownership by women and minorities than their large corporate counterparts. You Know The Place is a podcast that explores the stories and people behind these corner stores, local manufacturers, bodegas, and social clubs in our area and takes a closer look at what they bring to our communities.
Grace Weber’s Music Lab (GWML) is a free monthly music education program and talent accelerator for Milwaukee area high schoolers, providing opportunities to refine performance skills; build connections between engaged and talented young people; expose participants to the multiple career opportunities available in creative industries; and to participate in performances and talks by professional musicians, entertainment industry professionals and artists. This program is critical to meeting the growing and changing needs of our city and youth – Grace Weber’s Music Lab reaches kids with art forms that are increasingly relevant and central to their lives, including diverse music from hip-hop to alternative to spoken word.
¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? is a bilingual podcast that tells the stories of Latinx in the Midwest. Funded with support from CPB, the podcast facilitates difficult conversations and explores policy issues, such as immigration and the U.S. Census. WNIN reaches out to educational institutions to host listening parties share these stories with students. ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest?
American Homefront is a national/local collaborative reporting project focused on improving coverage of military and veterans issues. WIth support from CPB, WUNC’s dedicated full-time reporter and full-time editor moderate a Slack channel and lead weekly calls with partner stations: KPCC (Los Angeles), Colorado Public Radio, Texas Public Radio (San Antonio) and WUSF (Tampa) WUNC’s listening area includes Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, two of the largest military installations. American Homefront has helped WUNC build relationships with those communities and host the station’s first two engagement events in Fayetteville/Fort Bragg.
Another Round is a community engagement series that allows Boise Public Radio to get outside of the metro region and into areas of southern and central Idaho and eastern Oregon. Three out of four quarterly events take place outside of Boise. In each, the station learns about topics listeners would like to hear covered more on air. Boise Public Radio partners with a local brewery/restaurant/coffee shop and charge $5. Participants get a stainless steel NPR/BSPR logo’s tumbler with a ticket redeemable for one free beer.
On the fourth Monday night of each month, KASU presents “Bluegrass Monday,” a concert series in its 17th year, bringing professional bluegrass musicians to Paragould, Arkansas, for affordable, family-friendly concerts. Admission is always free. KASU feels presenting these concerts not only promotes its radio broadcasts of bluegrass music, but the concerts also help to promote the culture of the region that includes the nearby Ozark Mountains. All concerts are recorded for broadcast on KASU at a later date.
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, which runs IowaWatch.org, hosted a workshop in Iowa City in April 2019 to inform the public about behind-the-scenes practices used to tell a truthful news story. The workshop, “Creative Minds: Journalism Workshop Engaging Citizens In the News,” fostered two-way communication between participating newsroom journalists and 15 local residents. This was a pilot project to determine public interest in such a workshop and to see whether ICPAJ could pull it off. The answer to both was: yes.
WXXI’s “Classical 91.5 Presents” is an annual film series that exemplifies the power of music to enhance a story’s narrative. Each year Classical 91.5 presents a series of four films that are related to classical music in some way. Each film session includes film-related live music in The Little Theatre Café in Rochester and a lively panel discussion with WXXI hosts, as they explore the significance and unique use of music in each film.
Beneath the Surface is a 12-month series on WHQR’s locally produced program CoastLine focusing on civil discourse. Members of the community engage in a roundtable style conversation, one that is lively and respectful, and explores a range of topics. The program focuses on understanding how lived experiences shape people’s views and, hopefully helps participants become better listeners who are more comfortable spending time with people with different perspectives.
You Know The Place
All of us pass by hundreds of small, local businesses on our daily commutes that we’ve never stopped at, shopped in, or even taken notice of. Overall, places like these employ 47 percent of workers and account for over 99 percent of businesses in this country. Main Street not only drives wide swaths of our economy but enjoys higher rates of ownership by women and minorities than their Wall Street counterparts. This led us to ask, who comprises their main customer base? How long have they been in business? How do they compete with big box stores, chains, and online services and retailers? What do they sell, offer, or make?
You Know The Place (YKTP), a podcast hosted by two local writers launched in March 2018 in order to answer those questions. The episodes feature a mix of both in-studio and field audio. Over the course of the five seasons produced as of 2020, YKTP has taken listeners to a diverse array of locations, including an Indian bodega, a naturist retreat on reclaimed mining land, a nonprofit acupuncture co-op, and a social club for gay men.
Many of the people and places we have featured have been historically underrepresented in public media, particularly in a largely rural state like Idaho. Additionally, our show puts the spotlight on local and small businesses at a time when brick-and-mortar storefronts are struggling to compete against Amazon, Walmart and other chains and online offerings. These challenges are compounded by the rising cost of prime real estate, health care, and other overhead expenses facing small businesses.
The show hinges entirely on community engagement. We encourage listeners to ask questions and they suggest the majority of the locations we visit. Our goal is to repay them by making them part of the experience. We’ve had a local food writer join us on a trip to a chicken shop, for example.
We’ve come to realize that YKTP is not only a catalyst for exploration and discovery, but a snapshot of a place and a time. The landscape of a city is always changing. New businesses have set up shop and been added to our list, while others we’ve visited have since closed.
Organizationally, this project has demonstrated to station leadership what can be accomplished if staff are allowed the time and space to experiment. It also stands as proof of concept that podcasts create important content that engages an audience (e.g. younger, diversified, digital natives, etc.) we may not otherwise be reaching with our broadcast programs.
While we haven't secured any foundation or grant support, we have generated some consistent, albeit minor, income via corporate sponsorships. For the last three seasons, we’ve had four sponsors interested in reaching an audience like ours: hyper-local, with a proven interest in small and local businesses.https://youknowtheplacepodcast.com/