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.
86 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 partner 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.
¿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?
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.
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.
WXXI’s “Classical 91.5 Presents” is an annual film series that exemplifies the power of music to enhance a story’s narrative. Each year Classical 91.5 presents a series of four films that are related to classical music in some way. Each film session includes film-related live music in The Little Theatre Café in Rochester and a lively panel discussion with WXXI hosts, as they explore the significance and unique use of music in each film.
Maine Public’s Deep Dive is a space for complex, in-depth, high impact reporting. The first edition focused on childcare issues in the state, and utilized the entire 18-member news team to create web, radio and TV stories. Maine Calling, the local talk show, broadcast two editions that opened and closed the series. The station developed a communications plan to inform the audience, politicians and other stakeholders. The capstone moment was a public event at Portland Public Library where reporters discussed their work and took questions from the public.
“Eye on the Arts” is a half hour TV series that showcases a diverse range of local artists, artistic organizations, events and stories, demonstrating the power of arts in people’s lives. The series draws attention to regional artists and cultural programs across the entire Chicagoland area, including many of Northwest Indiana’s under-served populations, people who often feel that the arts are inaccessible. “Eye on the Arts” also retains a radio presence through weekly segments on Lakeshore Public Radio.
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.
Impact: 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.”
Since the podcast launched, it has been downloaded over 45K times, reached 50K people on social media, was featured on Apple Podcasts.
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.https://vpm.org/resettled