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!

151 results found.

California Reporting Project


The California Reporting Project is a statewide collaboration of 40 local and regional newsrooms working together to cover long-secret internal investigations of police officers which were unsealed in 2019. It is a locally driven, large-scale investigative journalism project that has published more than 100 stories, including several deep-dive investigations, exposed numerous failures in accountability, and led to dismissals of criminal charges in multiple cases.

Podcasting 101 / Queen City PodQuest Academy

WFAE 90.7 FM (Charlotte's NPR News Source)

As part of its newly-formed Queen City PodQuest Academy program, WFAE offered free “Podcasting 101” classes. Over the course of 10 weeks, students gained an understanding of the fundamentals of podcasting, production skills and marketing tips, and walked away with a resource list for the future. Of the 500 people who attended the classes, 30 went on to attend the Queen City PodQuest Academy for in-depth training and lessons. WFAE believes in the power of podcasting to amplify diverse voices, remove barriers to storytelling, and to build and connect communities. We want to help Charlotte area residents tap into the power of podcasting to tell their own unique stories.

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.

It’s Camp! Virtual Summer Camp

PBS39 - Lehigh Valley Public Media

COVID-19 and the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s orders for social distancing put a damper on traditional kids’ summer camps. PBS39’s “It’s Camp!” brought the best parts of camp into kids’ homes every weekday during the summer of 2020. This 30-minute program for kids ages 9-14 taught science, art, fitness, survival skills, connecting with nature, and more.


WXXI Public Broadcasting
Joint Licensee
Jeanne Fisher

When live music performances came to a halt because of COVID-19, musicians found themselves without an outlet for their art. WXXI has strong ties to the arts and culture scene in the Rochester area and frequently broadcasts live performances from our studios and from local concert halls and other venues. Without the ability for audiences to gather, the station worked with local musicians to find an alternative way to enjoy music and keep live performance an important part of our cultural life.

For the virtual series, HomeStage, we approached musicians from a variety of genres. Members of the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra, along with musicians from the jazz, pop, rock, and metal scenes have worked with us to create online performances that can be enjoyed on-demand.

The musicians recorded themselves at home performing a song, using cell phones or tablets and consumer grade microphones, with directions for best quality provided by WXXI. The introductory video and the music video were then edited together by a WXXI producer and posted on the HomeStage page of the WXXI website. Segments are posted every Friday and promoted on air and on social media.

HomeStage works to extend the range and reach of stories and performances and find new ways for them to be shared and experienced. For example, WXXI Classical is broadcasting concerts by the Society for Chamber Music in Rochester. HomeStage audiences had the chance to meet the artists in more casual, intimate performances. WXXI TV connected a rebroadcast of a historic baseball game in Rochester with a HomeStage performance by the ballpark’s long-time organist.

As each segment was published, HomeStage’s social media posts were shared by the artists and their followers, which helped widen the reach and WXXI’s audience for this virtual performance series. We now have artists asking us if they can do a HomeStage performance. This demonstrates how important the HomeStage platform has become during the COVID-19 pandemic.