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!

81 results found.

COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience

WDET, 101.9 FM

“COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience” is a 10-week multimedia visual, audio, and written word series that tell stories of resilience in the local community. It focuses on our local shared experience of the coronavirus pandemic and Black Lives Matter protests over the killing of George Floyd and others. WDET partnered with Documenting Detroit, a photojournalism and arts organization, to produce and tell these stories through the eyes of five local documentary photographers and one spoken word artist.

KOSU Audio Diaries


As journalists were furloughed and Oklahomans became isolated during the pandemic, KOSU worked to keep the community connected and to preserve these snapshots of history for future generations through user-submitted audio diaries. In the same way news archives from 1918 have provided perspective for journalists today, these audio diaries are being archived in collaboration with the Oklahoma Historical Society.

Making Buffalo Home

Buffalo Toronto Public Media

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.

Faces of Hunger

Carolina Public Press

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.

Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars

PBS Wisconsin

PBS Wisconsin shares the voices and talents of students of color involved in the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s First Wave Scholarship program in the documentary “Hip-Hop U: The First Wave Scholars.” By addressing local disparities in accessibility, representation, and education, we help Wisconsin educators be better prepared to implement culturally relevant pedagogy in their classrooms.

COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience

WDET, 101.9 FM
Public Radio
Toby Tabaczynski

We look to our artists and thinkers to help explain the age in which we live. That’s why WDET partnered with Documenting Detroit to create “COVID Diaries: Stories of Resilience,” a series that launched in April and concluded in July 2020.

The participating artists came from varied backgrounds and brought different perspectives on the city of Detroit. We commissioned them to share photos, audio diaries, and creative writing that illustrated the moments that bonded us together as we cared for ourselves and each other. Each artist received the same weekly assignment to document their world through the lens of a particular theme. The weekly themes were: Take a Breath, We All Know Someone, On Hold, A Better Normal, The Other Side of the Fence, Coming Up for Air, Unmasked, The First Step, Just Stopping By, and Aspiration.

The audio diaries aired on WDET and were featured alongside the week’s photographs on both wdet.org and Instagram. The series attracted more than 8,000 unique visitors to the WDET website, 58 percent of whom were first-time visitors. During its release, WDET also saw its audience grow by 11 percent on Instagram.

Because of the diversity of the artists and the connections they have with their local areas, we were able to engage with community members WDET does not normally reach, extending our connection to a new audience we hope to serve in the future.

The series will be archived in the State of Michigan’s archive and the Wayne State University Walter P. Reuther Library.