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. IMPORTANT: 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!

73 results found.

Resettled

VPM

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.

Radio Milwaukee – Grace Weber’s Music Lab

WYMS 88Nine Radio Milwaukee

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.

Songversations

WFAE 90.7 FM (Charlotte's NPR News Source)

Part performance, part conversation, Songversations feature live music and interviews from the comfort of home. Each Tuesday and Thursday at noon (on Facebook Live and WFAE.org), Joni Deutsch (host of WFAE’s award-winning Amplifier podcast) sits down with some of Charlotte’s brightest music-makers for a transparent conversation about the impact of COVID-19 on the local music community, including the challenges and newfound perspective the pandemic has presented to creatives both personally and professionally.

Concert on Your Lawn

KBBI AM890

KBBI AM 890 is hosted an on-air remote ‘Concert on YOUR Lawn’ Fundraiser- a socially distant homage to our Concert On The Lawn days and an opportunity for us to celebrate our amazing listener-supporters. Throughout the two days listeners heard the regular shows they love as well as live music, KBBI testimonies, and giveaways all culminating in the Concert on Your Lawn Event with local musicians broadcasting from their homes.

Safe & Sound: VPR’s Celebration of Vermont Music

Vermont Public Radio

Created in response to the COVID-19 pandemic, weekly episodes of Safe & Sound follow relevant themes through music and interviews. From how musicians are continuing to create and connect while isolating, to how BIPOC musicians experience racism while living and working in Vermont, the show aims to elevate our understanding of Vermont’s music and culture in a time of social distance.

COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience

WDET, 101.9 FM

“COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience” is a 10-week multimedia visual, audio, and written word series that tell stories of resilience in the local community. It focuses on our local shared experience of the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd and others. WDET partnered with Documenting Detroit, a photojournalism and arts organization, to produce and tell these stories through the eyes of five local documentary photographers and one spoken word artist.

KOSU Audio Diaries

KOSU

As journalists were furloughed and Oklahomans became isolated during the pandemic, KOSU worked to keep the community connected and to preserve these snapshots of history for future generations through user-submitted audio diaries. In the same way news archives from 1918 have provided perspective for journalists today, these audio diaries are being archived in collaboration with the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Resettled

VPM
2020
Joint Licensee
Angela Massino
amassino@vpm.org
https://vpm.org/resettled

Before the 2016 election, the plight of refugees was barely talked about or covered in local news. Sparked by the travel ban, xenophobia, and increased immigration enforcement, Virginians suddenly wanted to know about refugees: Who are they, and how does resettlement work?

A staff person at a resettlement agency recounted how after the 2016 Presidential election, the steady flow of new refugees slowed to a trickle. The stories of refugees needed to be told. VPM decided to launch a podcast with a new model that included the community in every step of the process in order to create a powerful and meaningful product. To do this, VPM needed to establish authentic relationships where everyone feels invested.

To get started, we hired as project advisors two former journalists who had recently resettled in Virginia. Zarmina Wahidi and Nazir Afzali brought with them their rich experience working in Afghanistan as reporters, fixers, and translators. When Zarmina stepped into our studio, she shared memories of being the first woman in her family to have a professional job. She had worked for the BBC as a voice actress. In the last episode of Resettled, she provided the voice-over for a mother who shared her excitement about the freedom of owning her own car.

We sought out poet and social entrepreneur Ahmed Badr, who resettled from Iraq, to be our host and producer. His other projects include Narratio and Unpacked: Refugee Baggage, which amplify stories of displaced people. Along with building relationships with individuals, we connected with nonprofits like ReEstablish Richmond and the Peer Leader Group at Harrisonburg High School. Together, we organized two storytelling workshops: one for adults, the other for high school students. We also recorded stories on-site at the Festival of Cultures in Charlottesville, Harrisonburg International Festival, and World Refugee Day in Richmond.

Through active community-building, we learned from refugees about the issues they face and the complexities of the resettlement process. We built trust within a community we rarely accessed before this project.

The series launched in July 2020 and was met with high-acclaim from immigrant- and minority-led podcasts like Kerning Cultures, Immigrantly, and Subtitle. Along with promotional plugs, thoughtful reviews like this one from Subtitle reinforced our original intent:

“Listening to Resettled is like flipping the lens on America. All of the absurd contradictions come into focus. And it is the refugees asking the questions; they seem like the sensible ones. They are humanized here, quite the counterweight to how they have been portrayed by some in the corridors of power.”

More importantly, though, is the feedback we’ve received from participants. Fatimah, one young workshop participant, said Resettled inspired her to join her university’s newspaper. A former intern is now working full-time for ReEstablish Richmond. And Dadi Neopaney, a refugee from Bhutan, sent a text message after listening to the Jobs episode. She wrote: “Cried, what a great podcast.” THIS is impact.