Local that Works

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 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.

15 results found.


Detroit Public Television

As Detroit emerged as an early epicenter of the COVID-19 crisis, Detroit Public Television (DPTV) became a key media partner in the COVID313 Coalition, a group of grassroots organizations that united to help Detroiters access critical information about services in the area. By producing a weekly town hall that was streamed on Facebook Live, as well as broadcasting segments on our weekly public affairs show One Detroit, DPTV and the COVID313 coalition filled a void in the emergency response system and connected our audience with life-saving services

California Reporting Project


The California Reporting Project is a statewide collaboration of 40 local and regional newsrooms working together to cover long-secret internal investigations of police officers which were unsealed in 2019. It is a locally driven, large-scale investigative journalism project that has published more than 100 stories, including several deep-dive investigations, exposed numerous failures in accountability, and led to dismissals of criminal charges in multiple cases.

The Learning Space

Maine Public

“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.

A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools (2019 Finalist)

Voice of San Diego

A Parent’s Guide to Public Schools is a free magazine-style guide from Voice of San Diego that is distributed to 50,000 families annually. It aids parents in making decisions about their children’s education by providing an overview of every public school’s performance in easy-to-read charts and answering common questions about local public school options.

Battling Opioids (2019 Finalist)

Pennsylvania Public Media

Pennsylvania Public Media stations WHYY, WITF, WLVT/PBS39, WPSU, WQED, WQLN, WVIA are collaborating to produce educational programming that focuses on the opioid crisis with the goals of increasing awareness, reducing stigma, aiding prevention, and helping people find treatment. This state-wide project included long-form documentaries, online features, educational interstitials, and strong social media support. Battling Opioids helped to direct more than 23,000 calls to the state helpline since the project started.

North Country Public Radio In Your Town (North Country At Work) (2018 Finalist)

North Country Public Radio

North Country at Work (NC@W) has been collecting photographs and audio content that tell historic and contemporary stories of people at work, town by town, across the vast rural geography of New York State served by North Country Public Radio. NC@W is now returning to the featured towns, setting up photo exhibits, and hosting work-related story slams, which are recorded and added to the NC@W permanent archive.

PBS Charlotte 3-D Project: Dreamers, Doers, Destiny (2018 Finalist)


Via a four-year community engagement campaign that began in fall 2017, WTVI PBS Charlotte partnered with local workforce-related organizations to roll out a three-part media project (Dreamers, Doers, Destiny) designed to empower youth to capitalize on their dreams. The target goal is to engage with and help educate 600 local public high school students in career pathways and leadership training, leading to education completion and lasting success in the workforce.


Public Radio
Eli Wirtschafter

The United States incarcerates over 2 million people — more than any other country. Most are people of color, and most come from low income backgrounds. They lose freedom of movement, regular contact with their families, voting rights, and access to phones and the internet. Uncuffed gives people in prison the power to tell their own stories.

KALW began teaching audio journalism to people at San Quentin Prison in 2012 and expanded to Solano State Prison in 2018. We teach students how to record 40 to 60-minute StoryCorps-style interviews and edit them down to 6-8 minute pieces using ProTools software.

Last year, we launched a podcast version of the series. As of August 2020, we’ve aired more than 90 interviews and stories produced behind bars and our podcast had over 33,000 downloads.

Uncuffed’s mission is to create emotional, human stories to change the narrative around incarcerated people, and change the criminal justice system. An advisory board of formerly incarcerated people help us stay true to that mission. The statewide prison TV system now broadcasts many of our pieces, allowing other prisoners to see people like themselves in a positive light.

In-person classes have been cancelled due to the coronavirus pandemic, but we have continued mail-in journalism courses. Meanwhile, we have used our network and reputation to tell the story of how COVID has ravaged prisons, including an episode featuring people writing letters to their loved ones in prison, whom they haven’t been able to visit.

Uncuffed can be a model for any media outlet with a prison in its area. We have already helped similar projects get off the ground and are willing and able to offer our resources and experience to other groups.

Earlonne Woods and Antwan Williams, the founders of PRX's Ear Hustle, were trained in our program. Woods was granted a commutation citing his work on the show. Both men are now employed by PRX, creating a podcast that exposes listeners to the injustices of mass incarceration.

Another past participant, Adnan Khan, says our program gave him his first glimpse of the power of his words. While incarcerated, he created a resentencing bill that set him and others free. Now he runs an advocacy organization and is regularly quoted on prison issues.

KALW helped San Quentin establish a chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists which has launched media careers for several people post-incarceration and which offers seminars on prison reporting for journalists around our region.

We receive contracts from the California Arts Council's Arts in Corrections program, which is funded by the Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation. In our first two years under the contract (July 2017- June 2019), we received $46,700. Demonstrating the success of the program, as well as its need for more funding, we received a contract of $231,000 for July 2019 - June 2020, which fully funds the program.