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.
49 results found.
The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting project – a state wide news collaborative spearheaded by CivicStory – generates local news stories about sustainability issues and actions required to resolve our climate crises. Through 6-month fellowships, early to mid-career journalists report for diverse New Jersey newsrooms, and help citizens shift from day-to-day thinking to longer-term consideration of the needs, health, and wellbeing of future generations.
Resettled is a six-part podcast series that explores the complex resettlement process through the perspectives of refugees. The podcast team included two former journalists from Afghanistan and a poet and social entrepreneur from Iraq who had experienced resettlement themselves and offered valuable insight. Working with local nonprofits, VPM held a series of storytelling workshops in the community, and recorded at booths during international festivals around the state.
Kansas City PBS creates “Zoom juries” as a novel approach to engaging citizens on critical pandemic related issues. In ‘Justice Deferred’ we partner with area courts to examine what it will take to restart criminal jury trials suspended since stay-at-home orders went into effect in March.
Sahan Journal, an independent, nonprofit news site in partnership with MPR News, serves the immigrant and refugee populations of Minnesota with professional journalism centered on immigrant lives, voices, and experiences.
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.
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.
Maine Public’s Deep Dive is a space for complex, in-depth, high impact reporting. The first edition focused on childcare issues in the state, and utilized the entire 18-member news team to create web, radio and TV stories. Maine Calling, the local talk show, broadcast two editions that opened and closed the series. The station developed a communications plan to inform the audience, politicians and other stakeholders. The capstone moment was a public event at Portland Public Library where reporters discussed their work and took questions from the public.
In partnership with two public high schools, Delaware Public Media’s Generation Voice program provides innovative career-building opportunities for students interested in digital media. Students work with professional journalists to learn the highest standards of news gathering and reporting. In the past year, participants have written and produced features on colorism, teen vaping, youth immigration, and gun violence; they produced creative storytelling podcasts and a series of parent/grandparent interviews done in the manner of the StoryCorps.
In the summer of 2019, Arizona Public Media published “Finding Home,” a radio news series focused on housing and issues of access, affordability, discrimination, cultural identity, and the changing neighborhoods of Tucson. Content included multiple episodes of our half-hour radio programs, a slate of feature radio news stories, a dedicated web page, and a live community conversation. At a public event, held a month after the series aired, the show host moderated a discussion between panelists representing development, fair housing, and neighborhood associations.
New Jersey Sustainability Reporting Project
The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting (NJSR) project began in January 2019 at Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media as a collaborative effort among representatives from nine local environmental nonprofits. We shared the goal of supporting new forms of news to address our worsening environmental crisis and together, create a plan for the future NJSR Hub that included:
-Eight journalism fellows from geographically diverse New Jersey newsrooms to receive training to report on sustainability issues and action
-Searchable NJSR Hub website to aggregate and archive the stories
-Weekly or biweekly newsletter highlighting our multimedia stories
-Content distribution partners including higher education institutions to help reach a combined audience exceeding those of the newsrooms.
We hired a project manager and began recruiting newsrooms in May 2019. Two months later, we interviewed and selected our eight reporting fellows. In August, we finalized our letters of understanding with the seven participating newsrooms and held three training and orientation days. The fellows began reporting in September, and in November, we launched the SRHub website with our first 12 stories, and sent out the first newsletter to 2,900 CivicStory subscribers.
Our news editors committed to publishing sustainability stories in return for a stipend of $4,000 which was paid directly to the newsrooms. They were responsible for producing 10-12 print stories or 6-8 video or audio segments. Each newsroom retained their editorial independence and were not obligated to post each other’s content. CivicStory and the NJSR Hub project director communicated regularly with the fellows about story ideas and progress. By the end of the pilot phase in February 2020, we had a total of 59 stories posted to our website. The number had grown to more than 100 by late August.
We started SRHub because we found that news coverage of sustainability issues often fails to match the scale and urgency of our global ecological crises. Citizens need to know how they impact the climate and what they can do to prevent these crises from worsening right at home. Daily news plays a key role in conveying this information and engaging diverse audiences. As the most densely populated state and a birthplace of U.S. industry, we believe New Jersey has important sustainability stories to tell.
Since starting the NJSR Hub project, we have seen a measurable impact on sustainability coverage in our state. Our newsroom editors have cited the fellowship program as the impetus for reporting stories that otherwise would not have been told. There has also been a higher prevalence of front-page sustainability stories across our partner organizations and increased knowledge about the topic on the part of our fellows. We have also partnered successfully with The College of New Jersey, where a journalism and computer science course focused on our work and a student intern developed both a tagging system and interactive map that rolled out in Fall 2020.
As of August 2020, the NJ Sustainability Reporting project has generated $38,500 in revenue from partners, business sponsorship, foundation grants, and crowd-funding.http://www.SRHub.org