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.
28 results found.
The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting project is a state wide news collaborative spearheaded by CivicStory that generates local storiabout sustainability issues and actions required to resolve our climate crises. Through 6-month fellowships, early to mid-career journalists report for diverse New Jersey newsrooms, and help citizens shift from day-to-day thinking to longer-term consideration of the needs, health, and wellbeing of future generations.
Sahan Journal, an independent, nonprofit news site in partnership with MPR News, serves the immigrant and refugee populations of Minnesota with professional journalism centered on immigrant lives, voices, and experiences.
The Faces of Hunger project was a yearlong journalism and community dialogue initiative from Carolina Public Press that focused on issues of hunger and food insecurity in rural North Carolina. Through in-depth multimedia reporting, resource sharing and free community events, and news and community partnerships that highlighted dialogue and potential solutions, Carolina Public Press shined the spotlight on the issues and systems contributing to hunger and food hardship in the state.
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.
The Iowa Center for Public Affairs Journalism, which runs IowaWatch.org, hosted a workshop in Iowa City in April 2019 to inform the public about behind-the-scenes practices used to tell a truthful news story. The workshop, “Creative Minds: Journalism Workshop Engaging Citizens In the News,” fostered two-way communication between participating newsroom journalists and 15 local residents. This was a pilot project to determine public interest in such a workshop and to see whether ICPAJ could pull it off. The answer to both was: yes.
KCPK-LP is conducting local podcast and broadcast training sessions to educate community members. This nonprofit media organization received its license for low power radio station and went on air in February, 2017. With the recent launch of a simulcast online radio stream, KCPK is now reaching beyond its 5 mile rural mountainous signal area to engage a larger “community” through self-directed training videos in podcasting and copyright laws.
The Georgia News Lab is an award-winning investigative reporting collaborative. It’s mission is to train the next generation of investigative reporters, make the vital work of watchdog journalism affordable for local news organizations and increase diversity in professional newsrooms. The News Lab is a partnership between the top college journalism programs in Georgia, including historically black colleges (HBCUs), along with the leading news outlets in the Southeast, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB-TV and Georgia Public Broadcasting.
Highlands Current Inc. is a nonprofit corporation begun in 2010 created to provide balanced reporting of news and events for the Hudson Valley communities of Cold Spring, Garrison, Nelsonville and Philipstown, N.Y. This special series took a deeper look at likely impact of climate change on the region, the challenges facing local farmers, “living on the edge” and the growing opioid crisis.
BenitoLink is a hyperlocal nonprofit news organization launched by two young Latino staff members with support from a local United Way grant. In 2018, BenitoLink expanded coverage of the local Latino community with funds from the Monterey Peninsula Foundation AT&T Pebble Beach ProAm. In summer 2019, BenitoLink brought on five interns for graphic arts, copy writing, computer applications, and marketing. Our computer science intern was funded largely by the Emma Bowen Foundation.
New Jersey Sustainability Reporting Project
The New Jersey Sustainability Reporting (NJSR) project began in January 2019 at Montclair State University’s Center for Cooperative Media as a collaborative effort among representatives from nine local environmental nonprofits. We shared the goal of supporting new forms of news to address our worsening environmental crisis and, together, create a plan for the future NJSR Hub. This plan included training eight journalism fellows from geographically diverse New Jersey newsrooms; launching a website to aggregate and archive the stories and a newsletter highlighting our multimedia stories; engaging content distribution partners including higher education institutions to help reach a combined audience exceeding those of the newsrooms.
We hired a project manager and began recruiting newsrooms in May 2019. Two months later, we interviewed and selected our eight reporting fellows. In August, we finalized our letters of understanding with the seven participating newsrooms and held three training and orientation days. The fellows began reporting in September, and in November, we launched website with our first 12 stories, and sent out the first newsletter to 2,900 CivicStory subscribers.
Our news editors committed to publishing sustainability stories in return for a stipend of $4,000 which was paid directly to the newsrooms. They were responsible for producing 10-12 print stories or 6-8 video or audio segments. Each newsroom retained their editorial independence and were not obligated to post each other’s content. CivicStory and the NJSR Hub project director communicated regularly with the fellows about story ideas and progress. By the end of the pilot phase in February 2020, we had a total of 59 stories posted to our website. The number had grown to more than 100 by late August.
We started SRHub because we found that news coverage of sustainability issues often fails to match the scale and urgency of our global ecological crises. Citizens need to know how they impact the climate and what they can do to prevent these crises from worsening right at home. Daily news plays a key role in conveying this information and engaging diverse audiences. As the most densely populated state and a birthplace of U.S. industry, we believe New Jersey has important sustainability stories to tell.
Since starting the NJSR Hub project, we have seen a measurable impact on sustainability coverage in our state. Our newsroom editors have cited the fellowship program as the impetus for reporting stories that otherwise would not have been told. There has also been a higher prevalence of front-page sustainability stories across our partner organizations and increased knowledge about the topic on the part of our fellows. We have also partnered successfully with The College of New Jersey, where a spring 2020 journalism and computer science course focused on our work and a student intern developed both a tagging system and interactive map that rolled in Fall 2020.