Local that Works spotlights innovative and replicable content, engagement and revenue initiatives at public radio and TV stations and nonprofit and digital news organizations in the U.S. LTW includes an annual contest (deadline: August 23) and a database (below). LTW produces webinars that offer insights into projects and organizations that are reshaping local civic journalism.
Explore the database of 400+ Local that Works projects. Check out Local that Works contest Winners, Finalists and Semifinalists by clicking on those colored tags.
Other 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.
Filter your results by selecting a tag or multiple tags in the categories drop down menu and clicking on search. IMPORTANT: Make sure to deselect your checked categories for subsequent searches.
106 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.
When COVID-19 shutdowns wiped out the possibility of our in-person, hands-on SciGirls Summer camp program for 2020, we created a 5-part series of television programs (30 minutes each) focusing on STEM careers and subjects using modified production resources. Not only was the final result available to the young women who would normally have been part of our camp, but it was also available to our entire community through broadcast, cable, online access and supporting partner organizations.
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.
In March 2020, COVID-19 created a learning crisis across our entire country. The Kansas Department of Education recognized an opportunity to partner with PBS affiliates across Kansas to create shows to limit the “summer slide” for students at the elementary, middle and high school levels. This initiative became known as Learning Across Kansas.
This new, community-focused program is aimed at bringing together a diverse group of voices to discuss the important issues facing our state and communities. With a new episode expected to air each quarter, the series provides a unique opportunity for all to listen and learn. The SCETV team engaged with viewers and encouraged community discussion via Facebook Live, Zoom and other digital platforms.
The Content Collaborative led by WUCF is a strategic partnership initiative among arts and news organizations in Central Florida to develop and distribute content with limited resources and staff. The Collaborative leverages world-class content created by community partners with WUCF’s production expertise to provide new on-air programming for public media audiences.
To salvage a 40-year community tradition in the midst of Covid-19, WJCT worked across the entire organization to create a multi-platform engaging and immersive Jazz Festival Weekend experience for its community.
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. 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. 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.”
By including the impacted community in the process, we provided a platform and created a replicable approach to share stories in a way that matter to both immigrants and the community at large. Since the podcast launched, it was downloaded over 45K times, reached 50K people on social media, was featured on Apple Podcasts, and tweeted about by the U.S. division of the UNHCR.
More importantly, though, is the feedback we received from those involved in the project. Fatimah, one young workshop participant, said the project inspired her to join the university newspaper. A former intern is now working full-time for ReEstablish Richmond. And Dadi Neopaney, a refugee from Bhutan, sent me a text message after listening to the Jobs episode: "Cried, what a great podcast. I cried, too. THIS is impact."
The project was awarded $65,000 by the Virginia Foundation for Public Media. During the production, a donor contributed $1,000.