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!

85 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

Making Buffalo Home

Buffalo Toronto Public Media

Making Buffalo Home is a local multi-platform project from Buffalo Toronto Public Media designed to share the stories of Buffalo’s newest neighbors from around the world and celebrate the rich immigrant history of the city through powerful storytelling. Through digital videos, television programs, radio features, social media and in-person events, viewers and listeners learned more about each other, creating a better understanding of our collective immigration story.

Faces of Hunger

Carolina Public Press

The Faces of Hunger project was a yearlong journalism and community dialogue initiative from Carolina Public Press that focused on issues of hunger and food insecurity in rural North Carolina. Through in-depth multimedia reporting, resource sharing and free community events, and news and community partnerships that highlighted dialogue and potential solutions, Carolina Public Press shined the spotlight on the issues and systems contributing to hunger and food hardship in the state.

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.

New Jersey Sustainability Reporting Project


The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting project is a state wide news collaborative spearheaded by CivicStory that generates local storiabout 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.

Catalyst Radio

Grand Rapids Community Media Center

Catalyst Radio is a weekly public affairs program produced by Grand Rapids (MI) Community Media Center. CMC’s Catalyst Radio features interviews with organizations and people working on social change, community support, and media issues. This effort is a partnership between The Rapidian, an online platform for community journalism and WYCE, an independent, community radio station in Grand Rapids.


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.