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!

34 results found.


Detroit Public Television

As Detroit emerged as an early epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, Detroit Public Television (DPTV) became a key media partner in the COVID313 Coalition, a group of grassroots organizations that united to help Detroiters access critical information about services in the area. By producing a weekly town hall that was streamed on Facebook Live, as well as broadcasting segments on our weekly public affairs show One Detroit, DPTV and the COVID313 coalition filled a void in the emergency response system and connected our audience with life-saving services

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.

Classical IPR’s Kids Commute

WIAA - Classical Interlochen Public Radio 88.7 FM, Interlochen, MI

Every weekday morning, Interlochen Public Radio (IPR) presents Kids Commute, an interactive exploration of classical music centered around weekly themes such as mermaids, opera, and elephants, that are designed to educate and entertain our youngest listeners. We also explore ballets, their stories, and the music that goes along with them. This interactive radio experience delivers strategies for early childhood artistic development that can be easily replicated in a variety of genres.

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.

A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools (2019 Finalist)

Voice of San Diego

A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools is a free “consumer report” tool, distributed to 50,000 families to aid parents in making decisions about their childrens’ education. The Guide, produced in English and Spanish, provides an overview of every local public school’s performance in easy-to-read charts, with answers to basic questions about public school options. VOSD works UC San Diego to analyze the school performance data and with the San Diego Workforce Partnership to cover topics like vocational training. Read Current’s coverage of this project.


Detroit Public Television
Public TV
Gillian Gainsley

Since the COVID-19 pandemic and resulting crises emerged in Wayne County and Detroit, tens of thousands of residents have contracted the disease and thousands have died. Schools have closed and many people have lost their jobs. Over 35 percent of Detroit’s residents live in poverty and the economic and environmental toll of COVID-19 is significant, as Detroit families are less likely to have the resources, means, and opportunities to weather the effects of the disease and its fallout.

In early April 2020, a consortium of Detroit organizations banded together under the name COVID313 Community Coalition for Families and Students to share information with local communities about testing, education, health care, childcare, food distribution, immigration needs, unemployment, and more.

COVID313 includes school leaders, nonprofit organizations, philanthropic foundations, and Detroit city officials and representatives. Early on, COVID313 turned to Detroit Public Television to amplify the coalition’s messages throughout the region.

Leveraging the power of DPTV and One Detroit, the station’s weekly news show, COVID313 releases weekly, live virtual town hall updates via DPTV’s Facebook account. Recorded town halls are then made available via DPTV’s One Detroit website, Facebook feed, and YouTube channel.

DPTV lends its capacity and expertise to convene presenters, dive into issues, host discussions with state and local politicians, and provide COVID313 partners with opportunities to publicize available resources, such as utility assistance, food and basic need provisions, medical programs, and updates on the virus and its impacts. DPTV also works with community partners and program presenters to provide ASL, Spanish, and Arabic translation.

By weaving together the knowledge, resources, and expertise of Detroit’s varied sectors, DPTV is encouraging a collective and beneficial response to the pandemic. DPTV is empowering Metro Detroit residents to proactively and safely respond to the virus and is a strategic partner in the city’s efforts to mitigate the negative impacts of COVID-19 and decrease its transmission rate.