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!

63 results found.

You Know The Place

KBSX - Boise State Public Radio

Small businesses are major drivers of our economy and show higher rates of ownership by women and minorities than their large corporate counterparts. You Know The Place is a podcast that explores the stories and people behind these corner stores, local manufacturers, bodegas, and social clubs in our area and takes a closer look at what they bring to our communities.

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.

@myVPM on Instagram

VPM

VPM’s Instagram is a social media strategy that provides a platform to highlight Virginians who educate, entertain and inspire. This strategy has manifest itself through quality and expressive portrait photography, intimate first-person story telling and remarkable community building. VPM’s Instagram gained over 4,000 followers since taking on this strategy, increased our engagement and built new collaborations with local organizations.

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.

Bluegrass Monday

KASU, 91.9 FM and kasu.org, public radio

On the fourth Monday night of each month, KASU presents “Bluegrass Monday,” a concert series in its 17th year, bringing professional bluegrass musicians to Paragould, Arkansas, for affordable, family-friendly concerts. Admission is always free. KASU feels presenting these concerts not only promotes its radio broadcasts of bluegrass music, but the concerts also help to promote the culture of the region that includes the nearby Ozark Mountains. All concerts are recorded for broadcast on KASU at a later date.

Framed by WDET (2019 Winner)

WDET, Detroit’s NPR Station

WDET’s mission is to be the authentic voice of Detroit. Framed by WDET is a multimedia series that integrates photography and audio storytelling to present the authentic stories of Detroit’s ethnic and cultural communities on the radio, online, in a photobook, and at pop-up exhibitions in more than 20 art spaces in the Detroit region and beyond. Produced in collaboration with a community of Detroit-based photographers and storytellers, Framed empowers local residents to contribute to and inform the station’s programming. Read Current’s story about Framed.

I just want to testify…

KTWU

To celebrate the 65th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, PBS in Topeka created this two-hour community conversation with students and teachers from the segregation era. Shot in a modern-day Cinema Verite’ style on a single day in 2019, students and teachers from the four segregated Black schools in Topeka talked about their lives prior to and after integration. The five-part series included: Growing up in Topeka’s Black Community; Family, Friends, Neighbors; School and You (Segregation); School and You (Integration); and After-effects (outcomes, impact).

You Know The Place

KBSX - Boise State Public Radio
2021
Public Radio
Joel Wayne
joelwayne@boisestate.edu

All of us pass by hundreds of small, local businesses on our daily commutes that we’ve never stopped at, shopped in, or even taken notice of. Overall, places like these employ 47 percent of workers and account for over 99 percent of businesses in this country. Main Street not only drives wide swaths of our economy but enjoys higher rates of ownership by women and minorities than their Wall Street counterparts. This led us to ask, who comprises their main customer base? How long have they been in business? How do they compete with big box stores, chains, and online services and retailers? What do they sell, offer, or make?

You Know The Place (YKTP), a podcast hosted by two local writers launched in March 2018 in order to answer those questions. The episodes feature a mix of both in-studio and field audio. Over the course of the five seasons produced as of 2020, YKTP has taken listeners to a diverse array of locations, including an Indian bodega, a naturist retreat on reclaimed mining land, a nonprofit acupuncture co-op, and a social club for gay men.

Many of the people and places we have featured have been historically underrepresented in public media, particularly in a largely rural state like Idaho. Additionally, our show puts the spotlight on local and small businesses at a time when brick-and-mortar storefronts are struggling to compete against Amazon, Walmart and other chains and online offerings. These challenges are compounded by the rising cost of prime real estate, health care, and other overhead expenses facing small businesses.

The show hinges entirely on community engagement. We encourage listeners to ask questions and they suggest the majority of the locations we visit. Our goal is to repay them by making them part of the experience. We’ve had a local food writer join us on a trip to a chicken shop, for example.

We’ve come to realize that YKTP is not only a catalyst for exploration and discovery, but a snapshot of a place and a time. The landscape of a city is always changing. New businesses have set up shop and been added to our list, while others we’ve visited have since closed.

Organizationally, this project has demonstrated to station leadership what can be accomplished if staff are allowed the time and space to experiment. It also stands as proof of concept that podcasts create important content that engages an audience (e.g. younger, diversified, digital natives, etc.) we may not otherwise be reaching with our broadcast programs.

While we haven't secured any foundation or grant support, we have generated some consistent, albeit minor, income via corporate sponsorships. For the last three seasons, we’ve had four sponsors interested in reaching an audience like ours: hyper-local, with a proven interest in small and local businesses.

https://youknowtheplacepodcast.com/