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 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!

20 results found.

American Homefront


American Homefront is a national/local collaborative reporting project focused on improving coverage of military and veterans issues. WIth support from CPB, WUNC’s dedicated full-time reporter and full-time editor moderate a Slack channel and lead weekly calls with partner stations: KPCC (Los Angeles), Colorado Public Radio, Texas Public Radio (San Antonio) and WUSF (Tampa) WUNC’s listening area includes Fort Bragg and Camp Lejeune, two of the largest military installations. American Homefront has helped WUNC build relationships with those communities and host the station’s first two engagement events in Fayetteville/Fort Bragg.

Georgia News Lab

Georgia News Lab (partners with the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, WSB TV and Georgia Public Broadcasting)

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.

Lost Coast Sessions: Word Humboldt


In partnership with public radio KHSU, Public TV stations KEET developed a series showcasing local jazz and heavy metal bands, acapella groups … and even a poetry slam. With a crew of 7, the stations taped the shows at a local theater, edited them into stand-alone half-hour episodes and broadcast the results. The series was designed to raise the profile of little-known bands, as well expand the audience for popular favorites.

Seeking Conviction

Carolina Public Press

Carolina Public Press led a first-of-its-kind statewide investigative reporting collaboration in North Carolina including 11 news organizations Over six and a half months, journalists analyzed statewide court data and conducted extensive interviews with sexual assault survivors, victim advocates, medical professionals, law enforcement, prosecutors and state officials across North Carolina. The investigation revealed that one in four sexual assault cases result in a conviction, and in 30 of the state’s 100 counties, there were no convictions at all in four and a half years.

100 Days in Appalachia

100 Days in Appalachia

100 Days in Appalachia was born the day after the 2016 election. Weary of parachuting journalists seeking insights into rural America, we launched 100 Days to challenge the narratives that had reduced our region to a handful of narrow stories. Appalachia is a large, complex region comprising 13 states and 25 million people. 100 Days is designed to share our stories with a global audience as we cover the complicated landscape of American politics through the prism of Appalachia.

Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road to Recovery

Maryland Public Television

The continuing opioid crisis in communities served by Maryland Public Television’s broadcast signal prompted the station to develop an awareness and education initiative for early 2017. Giving the multi-month project the title of “Addiction & Recovery,” MPT sought to honestly portray the dark side of addiction while also providing hope, encouragement and access to professional help for those impacted by opioid abuse. The effort culminated in the broadcast of a 2017 production called Breaking Heroin’s Grip: Road to Recovery.

Roseland Health/Salud

Northern California Public Media including KRCB Radio and TV and KPJK TV

KRCB radio and TV is working with bilingual radio station KBBF in Santa Rosa to ask residents of one Santa Rosa neighborhood how their annexation into the city of Santa Rosa may affect their health. We’re talking with residents and stakeholders, broadcasting call-in shows and news features, and communicating in English and Spanish. We’re covering issues ranging from housing to immigration, from infrastructure to parks, describing how each contributes to the well-being of the community.

Voices of Veterans


IowaWatch.org sought out veterans in 2017 with two simple questions: What should Iowans know about being a veteran, and what could Iowans do to show their support? We answered these questions by going to veterans at places where their service is noted publicly, producing radio reports distributed statewide on a network of 19 stations, producing written stories distributed statewide, hosting a live storytelling event where five selected veterans shared about their lives, and recruiting partners to help spread these stories.

Sahan Journal

Sahan Journal- KNOW
Nonprofit News Org/Other
Kate Moos

Sahan Journal is a digital-first news operation launched in August of 2019 by Somali-born American journalist Mukhtar Ibrahim a former reporter and producer at Minnesota Public Radio. Minnesota Public Radio was the first “investor” in this start-up.

At the onset of Covid-19 in Minnesota, Sahan Journal’s staff of seven, plus three Report for America journalists, began publishing essential pandemic coverage in three languages: Hmong, Somali, and Spanish, reflecting the three largest immigrant groups in the state. Over the summer of 2020, as the Twin Cities were rocked by civic unrest in protest of the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis police, Sahan Journal offered a distinct lens on new coalitions and social change activism by immigrants and refugees in support of Black Lives Matter. Young people, born in the United States, whose immigrant parents and grandparents would never have become active for civil rights, emerged and joined the forefront of the movement, claiming their own identities as Black Americans.

Sahan Journal has established itself as a meaningful new entry into the Minnesota media scene, and was named Best Web site by the alt weekly newspaper, City Pages in 2020, which wrote: “In a blindingly white industry, the essentiality of a Sahan Journal is even more pronounced. And, with an assemblage of diverse bylines, the online paper is already churning out important stories on underrepresented communities while keeping the mainstream press honest.”

Sahan Journal operates beats on health and education and has offered deep local coverage of Minneapolis primaries, where 5th District Congresswoman Ilhan Omar faced a significant challenge, and where immigrant candidates unseated longtime Minnesota politicians.

In its first year, Sahan Journal has proven the concept that newsrooms led by BIPOC journalists will achieve a new journalism, and will draw young, diverse, engaged news readers. Issues difficult to face in cultural communities, such as teen addiction, are given their due, and unheard voices are amplified.

Minnesota Public Radio was an early investor in this project  Over 18 months, from January of 2019 to August of 2020, Sahan Journal raised $900,000 in philanthropic donations, most from institutional funders. We are currently building out our individual donor and underwriting programs.

The vast majority of Sahan Journal readers are under the age of 40, and 85% of our traffic is from mobile users. Young immigrants and other people of color are engaging with the news offered at Sahan Journal because it meets them where they live. They are a diverse, sophisticated, globally conscious group. While our mission is to serve the immigrant and refugee communities of MInnesota, we are aware that our coverage travels great distances virally. The public lives of immigrants, refugees, and, as we have come to see, other BIPOC have never received coverage commensurate with their contributions to the state. Stories that represent and include young immigrants, Black, and other people of color as participants in public life affirm the possibilities of democracy. While we are still small and a start up, evidence is gathering that Sahan Journal "has a shot."