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!

48 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.

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.



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.

@myVPM on Instagram


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.

Curiosity Club


KUOW’s Curiosity Club is a nerdy supper club exploring the possibility that great food and compelling storytelling can turn a group of strangers into a community. Ten diverse community members, selected by an application process meet for a series of dinners. A month before each dinner, members are assigned five multimedia KUOW stories as “homework,” where the homework seeds the dinner conversations, which are both 1:1 and whole-group discussions. Afterwards, participants complete a survey, and some write thoughtful, surprising reflections posted to KUOW.org/curiosityclub.

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.


88.5 WFDD - Public Radio for the Piedmont

Hive is WFDD’s multi-tiered education program that, through storytelling, empowers young people (and some grown-ups!) to ask questions, think critically, and care about their community. It provides both content and revenue for WFDD. Though primarily youth-focused, Hive serves people ages 10 – 65+, through a variety of programs, including a summer student Radio Camp and Radio 101 classes embedded in local schools and colleges during the school year.

The Life Autistic

Iowa PBS
Public TV
Ken Harrison

Iowa PBS has been including Iowans with disabilities in its local content for several years. With a grant from the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and support from the Max and Helen Guernsey Charitable Foundation, Iowa PBS has expanded its coverage of Iowa’s disability communities, placing Iowans with disabilities squarely at the center of their own stories. Beyond being a celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, this Iowa PBS initiative has increased awareness of Iowans with disabilities and set the stage for greater inclusivity in Iowa PBS local content from July 2020 onward.

As part of this initiative, Iowa PBS launched The Life Autistic, a multi-platform project that explores the lives of Iowans with Autism Spectrum Disorder. By taking a close look at their diagnoses, treatments, family life, and daily routines, viewers gain an intimate perspective on the lives of people on the spectrum. Through hearing from experts and educators, including author and activist Temple Grandin, they develop a better understanding of the many expressions of autism. The Life Autistic has reached hundreds of thousands of people across the state.

Unique stories from the web series were gathered together into The Life Autistic Collection, a 60-minute documentary that introduces viewers to several Iowans on the spectrum, from the very young to the elderly.

One of the people featured is Lainie, who lives in a Balance Autism Campus group home where she receives 24/7 support and works part-time in their office doing cleaning. Another is Mike, who works for Talk To Me Technologies in Cedar Falls. His wife is an occupational therapist and together they are raising two sons with autism. A third, named Tyler, was diagnosed with autism at the age of 22 months when his language abilities regressed. He now speaks publicly as an autism awareness advocate and says his biggest successes include graduating from college, getting a full-time job, and serving as a board member for the Autism Society of Iowa.