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 635 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.

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23 results found.

Black Radio United for the Vote

Jazz 91.9 WCLK

Jazz 91.9 WCLK teamed up with more than 10 Atlanta’s Black Radio stations – commercial and community outlets – in partnership with the Urban League of Greater Atlanta with the common goals of voter registration, voter education and voter mobilization in advance of the November 2020 election. From July 2020 through September 2020, Jazz 91.9 WCLK and partner stations are dedicating a full day of on-air programming to voting and Census messaging via PSA and interviews and social media engagement.

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.

Maryland Summer of Space

MPT Maryland Public Television

MPT’s Digital Studios partnered with the local NASA Goddard campus to create four digital shorts about Maryland’s contributions to space research, as part of the PBS Summer of Space programming, MPT held a public screening at the Old Greenbelt Theatre. The station’s digital team worked at Goddard’s social media staff to orchestrate cross-posting; NASA promoted the series to their 1.2 million on Facebook fans, and 543 thousand on Twitter contacts, resulting in 13,000 Facebook video plays.

Playtime Pad Research Project

WKAR Public Media

The Playtime Pad Research Project investigates the effectiveness of tablet-based learning initiatives in early childhood math literacy, while providing access to the latest digital learning tools for students, teachers, and parents. Initiated by the College of Communication Arts and Sciences and WKAR Public Media at Michigan State University, the Playtime Pad Research Project is a unique partnership connecting PBS KIDS, the College of Education at MSU, and the Lansing School District.

Ross Fest

WNIN Tri State Public Media

Ross Fest was organized by WNIN to celebrate painter and art instructor Robert Ross, the creator of The Joy of Painting. The station asked a certified Bob Ross landscape instructor to help create an experience that would give participants a certified Bob Ross painting to take home and enjoy forever. WNIN added a light wall to play a Joy of Painting episode, threw in some music, food trucks, a bar trailer and a Bob Ross costume contest… attracting hundreds of people to a made-for-social-media engagement event.

Veterans Coming Home: Finding What Works


KSFR partnered with the New Mexico Department of Veteran Services, Santa Fe Community College Veteran’s Resource Center, Santa Fe Vet Center, Horses for Heroes-Cowboy Up! and veterans groups to report on post 9-11 veterans’ re-entry into civilian life. The station helped organize a job fair for veterans that included screening the stories, speakers and entertainment for the veterans and their families. This project was supported with funds from CPB.

Arizona and the Vietnam War

Arizona Public Media

As part of a digital initiative that coincided with a documentary of the same name produced by Arizona Public Media, reporters asked community members to share stories about how they or their families were impacted by the Vietnam War. Stories were archived online to be watched or read, and some were broadcast by Arizona Public Media stations. Stories were written or taped at live screenings.

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.

WKAR/MSU PBS KID Playtime Pad Research Project

WKAR Public Media

PBS KIDS Playtime Pad Research Project is a unique partnership connecting PBS and PBS KIDS content, researchers in the College of Education at MSU and teachers and families in the Lansing School District. The Project investigates the effectiveness of tablet-based learning initiatives in early childhood math literacy, while providing access to the latest digital learning tools for students, teachers and parents. 

Central New York Makers Awards


In conjunction with the 2013 release of the PBS series, Makers: Women Who Make America, WCNY launched Central New York Makers Awards to honor women making contributions to their communities in WCNY’s viewing area. Nominees are evaluated on their efforts in their own communities that help shape today’s America. The awards ceremony is held at the Women’s Rights National Historical Park in Seneca Falls, NY — the birthplace of the women’s suffrage movement — located near Syracuse.

Embracing our Military

PBS Quad Cities

WQPT created the Embracing our Military initiative in 2013 to raise awareness of issues important to the military community. In 2017, they were able to bring “The Wall That Heals” — a 250-foot replica of the Vietnam Memorial plus an education center – to the Quad Cities area where they staged community engagement and educational events in conjunction with its visit.

Jackson Kayak Parental Engagement


WCTE launched a parental engagement program with a local company, Jackson Kayak, to reach at-risk families in the workplace. The parents who are employed by the company needed support and hands on training to improve their ability to parent their children to help them prepare for school and life. Twenty-five parents now attend monthly lunchtime sessions with each session centered around PBS KIDS programs, activities, and take-home projects to provide engagement moments with their kids.

Finding Nurses: The importance of sexual assault nurse examiners and the difficulty of locating them in North Carolina

Carolina Public Press
Nonprofit News Org/Other
Angie Newsome
[email protected]

The CPP Finding Nurses project was an investigative, in-depth reporting project that shined a light on the lack of Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners, or SANE nurses, in NC and how this impacts sexual assault survivors and the prosecution of their attackers. This project builds on CPP’s prior series Seeking Conviction, an investigative series examining sexual assault convictions in NC. Seeking Conviction led to legislation that reforms state sexual assault laws, extends the statute of limitations for civil suits against perpetrators of child abuse and includes a number of other safety protections for children.

SANE nurses receive specialized training to provide emergency medical attention and gather forensic evidence following sexual assaults. They are experts at collecting and cataloging the evidence of the assault, which can be used in a criminal investigation and prosecution. They also help prevent sexually transmitted infections after an assault. Some hospitals in NC have SANE nurses, but it’s not required, and no one is keeping track. After a sexual assault, survivors have choices to make. Do they seek help at a hospital? If they do and if they are lucky, they’ve arrived at a hospital with one of these nurses who have been trained to understand how to help a victim take care of her or his health after a traumatic experience.

Through this investigation, CPP found that many hospitals, especially outside major cities, do not have SANE nurses or are forced to share them with other facilities across a wide area. In fact, many hospitals, including several major chains, refused to disclose details to the public. This means a sexual assault survivor, especially those living in rural areas may have to drive long distances to receive specialized emergency care. And when she or he arrives at their local hospital, they may be told that the hospital has no SANE program so they have to seek care elsewhere. A survey of hospitals across NC found uneven results for staffing sexual assault nurse examiners. Some described rape victims visiting multiple hospitals until finding one with the proper personnel.

CPP conducted a survey, spoke with representatives from hospitals, forensic nursing programs, law makers and sexual assault services in an effort to highlight the issues and systems contributing to the lack of emergency care for sexual assault survivors. CPP also explored potential solutions from local efforts to statewide policies to programs in other states.

As a result of this investigation, Deborah Ross, U.S. Representative for North Carolina's 2nd Congressional District, introduced new amendments related to tracking and funding SANE nurses to legislation recertifying the Violence Against Women Act, which the U.S. House approved with bipartisan support. The bill is waiting for approval in the Senate. The Act protects and provides resources for victims of domestic abuse and sexual violence.

CPP’s investigation sought to shine a light on the importance of SANE nurses and the difficulty of locating them in NC. As a result, CPP produced a total of seven news reports that included audio and photography, a special “behind the scenes” virtual event featuring Lead Investigative Reporter Kate Martin about her reporting efforts, the importance of SANE nurses for survivors and the impact of her stories on public policy. During this event, Martin also answered questions from the audience about her process and the resulting stories.

Additionally, CPP hosted a special virtual event as a part of our Ten for NC event series which celebrates our 10th anniversary. The “Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and what it means for North Carolina” included panelist U.S. Rep. Deborah Ross and representatives from domestic violence and sexual assault advocacy organizations and CPP Lead Investigative Reporter Kate Martin.

Using Google Analytics, we know that this series generated, to date, more than 10,000 page views.

CPP generated revenue from individual donors to support this series. We also received funding from AB Technical Community College, a sponsor of our Ten for NC series, part of our year long 10 year anniversary celebration. The virtual event entitled, “Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) and what it means for North Carolina”, was the second event in the series and included discussion on SANE nurses and their impact in the state.