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.
91 results found.
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.
Kansas City PBS creates “Zoom juries” as a novel approach to engaging citizens on critical pandemic related issues. In ‘Justice Deferred’ we partnered with area courts to examine what it will take to restart criminal jury trials suspended since stay-at-home orders went into effect in March.
Prior to the pandemic, WFYI had set up a Be My Neighbor Day event at the city library with several community partners, a sensory-friendly area, and an expected 1,200 guests. COVID-19 forced us to cancel the live event, so we pivoted to a mix of educational outreach and volunteer engagement for a Be My Neighbor Week.
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.
Concert halls and theatres closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, and people are mostly staying at home, which has changed the way we enjoy music performances. WXXI’s HomeStage is a virtual concert experience, with local musicians of all genres performing in their homes for all to enjoy in our homes.
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.
“Friends & Neighbors” is a 30-minute television program exploring what it means to live and work in Northwest Indiana. The series celebrates the idea that behind the multitude of good things that happen in our region is a diverse group of interesting people. It is their stories we strive to share.
“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.
¿Qué Pasa, Midwest? is a bilingual podcast that tells the stories of Latinx in the Midwest. Funded with support from CPB, the podcast facilitates difficult conversations and explores policy issues, such as immigration and the U.S. Census. WNIN reaches out to educational institutions to host listening parties share these stories with students. ¿Qué Pasa, Midwest?
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.