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.
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CapRadio’s multi-platform participatory journalism project “After the Assault” explores what survivors experience in the aftermath of sexual violence and during police investigations.
A collaborative podcast from nonprofit newsrooms across Montana. This series explores the complexities of political beliefs through stories from the real people that shape our state.
Santa Cruz Local investigates what’s being done to address homelessness in Santa Cruz County. We look at programs that have shown promise at addressing homelessness in other parts of California.
“A People’s History of Kansas City” is an award-winning narrative history podcast about the everyday heroes who shaped the region. It centers the stories that have too often been forgotten or ignored.
This limited-run podcast series sheds light on humans living close to nature. In five episodes, Facets explores the passions, tensions and healing that people find while living in a mountain town.
Coping 101 is a student-led podcast destigmatizing Mental Health from a teen’s perspective. Featuring expert clinicians and local artists, episodes are hosted online alongside vital community resources.
Louisville Public Media’s Podcast Incubator makes podcasting accessible to individuals who have great ideas and stories to tell but have historically been underrepresented in public media.
‘Homegoings’ is a special series from Vermont Public Radio that features conversations with musicians of color who live in Vermont — about Black grief, resilience and music.
Blunt Youth Radio launched two youth audio initiatives with new partners: a 12-week, all-virtual program on climate, and three in-person, daylong intro to audio making workshops at the library.
After the Assault
In the spring of 2019, a Sacramento-area woman emailed CapRadio about her experience reporting a rape to local law enforcement. She wrote: “Their response was egregious and I know my experience is not an outlier.” We realized the need to report on the experience of survivors when they attempt to seek justice after a sexual assault.
That summer, we held two listening sessions. In the first session, local law enforcement, healthcare practitioners, crisis support providers, and advocates laid out the legal reporting process, identified challenges, and brainstormed solutions. In the second session, we brought together eight survivors who spoke about the mental health impacts of sexual assault and the challenging process of seeking justice. The survivor group decided to collaborate with CapRadio on a reporting project.
We involved the survivor cohort in every step of the editorial process. We interviewed survivors, as well as law enforcement, criminal justice scholars, trauma researchers, and sexual assault victim advocates. We also engaged Sacramento’s Sexual Assault Response Team – detectives, sergeants, district attorneys, crime lab staff, healthcare providers, and rape crisis center advocates – in the editorial process. We facilitated a series of convenings with this team to discuss what was working in the legal reporting process, as well as challenges and areas for improvement. Additionally, we engaged regional advocacy groups to help ensure project content would be widely relevant and useful.
In the summer of 2021, we launched “After the Assault”, including:
– Six radio features for local programs “All Things Considered” and “Morning Edition”;
– Nine “Insight” talk show segments;
– An hour-long “Insight” special;
– Three web stories;
– A seven-part podcast;
– An eight-part Instagram series featuring survivor quotes;
– A “CapReads” podcast episode;
– A “California State of Mind” podcast episode;
– The digital “Guide to Reporting Sexual Assault in Sacamento County” including a glossary of terms and list of Sacramento-area support organizations to help survivors navigate the legal system;
– A nine-part Instagram series highlighting key information from the guide; and
– The audio-based tool “Supporting Survivors of Sexual Assault: A Conversation Kit” featuring audio clips from survivors and other experts that advocacy groups and law enforcement can use to generate dialogue in presentations, training, and counseling sessions.
With the help of equity consultancy Praxis Associates, CapRadio completed an evaluation report for “After the Assault” in July 2022. The report shows that the project generated far-reaching impacts through both its process and content.
Survivor cohort members shared how being involved in the project helped them heal from the trauma of sexual assault and the legal reporting process. Being heard increased their sense of empowerment. As project co-creators, they gained a more expansive sense of justice, which now includes their own role in fixing the justice system.
The project also changed our newsroom. Reporters learned and incorporated trauma-informed approaches to seeking and using feedback from sources. They gained new resiliency to cover emotionally difficult topics.
The project has become part of training for local advocates, police, and prosecutors. The podcast is now part of the Sacramento Rape Crisis Center’s required sexual assault training for all new volunteers and paid staff. Crisis intervention nonprofit WEAVE is distributing our online guide to its staff and local partners. Three local police departments are developing new trainings as a result of the project. At one of those departments, a deputy district attorney now uses the podcast to onboard new attorneys to ensure they understand the survivor experience.
Through “After the Assault”, the arc of change that began with personal and collective healing is leading to civic and institutional transformation.
CapRadio successfully raised a total of $20,250 from six individual donors to help support our work on “After the Assault”.