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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139 results found.
Bay Area News Collective: A Seven-Newsroom Collaboration to Assess the Geographic Representation of Local NewsBay City News Foundation
Bay Area News Collective is a collaboration to assess the geographic diversity and density of Bay Area news through analysis of geolocated news coverage and personal experiences in the community.
Ogden Listening TourKUER
The “Ogden Listening Tour” informs KUER on how to 1) Increase coverage of a geographic area, 2) Increase listenership, and 3) Connect with a diverse population
MinnehistoriesTPT - Twin Cities PBS
Minnehistories are bite-sized videos that share pieces of Minnesota history and allow the audience to reminisce or learn about an unfamiliar event, figure, or place in Minnesota history.
She Votes UtahKUER
She Votes Utah is a collaborative initiative from KUER Radio and PBS Utah. The project provides information and resources targeting women voters in Utah to encourage voter participation.
A documentary short film project highlighting difference makers in each of the 21 counties in New Jersey
“Explore Milwaukee with 88Nine”WYMS 88Nine Radio Milwaukee
“Explore Milwaukee with 88Nine” is a county-wide scavenger hunt that gets people out of their homes and into the community, exploring new sites, discovering hidden gems and connecting with neighbors.
Jacksonville TodayWJCT Public Media
Jacksonville is one of the largest cities in the U.S., yet its media landscape is shrinking. The Jacksonville Today newsletter helps fill the gap with a must-read guide to civic life.
A People’s History of Kansas CityKCUR 89.3
“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.
Live Journalism: Wyoming Journalists Share the Stories Behind Their ReportingKHOL - Jackson Hole Community Radio
Conversation by and for the people of Jackson Hole with journalists from KHOL, WyoFile and the Jackson Hole News & Guide, sharing the stories behind their reporting and building trust in local media.
Bay Area News Collective: A Seven-Newsroom Collaboration to Assess the Geographic Representation of Local News
Traditionally, local newsrooms have used communication strategies apart from other news businesses in the same region, creating blind spots or redundancy in news coverage and accessibility. One news service may not serve a certain area or carry information important to its audience, causing readers to miss relevant stories; another news outlet may double up on a topic, putting scarce resources into a story already being covered well by an adjacent or competitive organization. This uncoordinated patchwork of coverage can lead to uneven or inaccurate local news perceptions.
Bloom Labs collaborated with seven organizations, including Bay City News, as part of the Bay Area News Collective to assess the geographic diversity and density of news in the San Francisco Bay Area. The others were Mercury News, East Bay Times, Marin Independent Journal, San Jose Spotlight and KQED. The project’s goal was to identify and respond to patterns of local news representation, or lack thereof, through the perspective of personal experiences in the communities and current geolocated news coverage.
Newsrooms used the Bloom for Publishers geotagging plugin in their CMS, and used Google’s Natural Language API to automatically tag subject area categories. Over 8,200 stories were geotagged that represented news items from 486 neighborhoods. A dashboard allowed for filtering by location, timeframe, category and sentiment.
Qualitative interviews complemented the quantitative data from geotagging to provide a holistic view. The goal was to understand how people feel represented and/or underrepresented in local news, what makes them feel that way, and how their trust and behaviors change across different local sources, information and contexts. Interviewees were selected to match the Bay Area population diversity, including factors like race, religion, economic status, etc.
The project’s collaborative approach enabled us to leverage patterns that are more inclusive of news coverage as we brought together insights from multiple newsrooms and regions in the Bay Area into one space simultaneously. Data analysis helped streamline resources across newsrooms and identify priority areas for future focus.
The outcomes of the project, including “representation indicators” and collective maps, showed what places and topics were — and were not — being covered. These markers were valuable for both newsrooms and residents, guiding the way for more useful, diverse and equitable news experiences.
When the project grant ended, newsrooms including the Mercury News and Bay City News continued on with Bloom. These two newsrooms noticed there were more insights to gain by continuing to geotag news. Both newsrooms have Bloom maps automatically appear below all news articles on their websites. Mercury News readers have given positive feedback about this feature, and are signing up for a “News Near Me” newsletter using the mapping technology.
For Bay City News, seeing the work aggregated and having a filter for time, topic or geography helped reinforce or challenge assumptions about what we were covering. It also helped to identify staffing opportunities where news coverage was lacking - for example, hiring a reporter in Vallejo because of a lack of consistent coverage in the North Bay. With every story geotagged, we provide extra context for readers who can see where a story happens on a map.
Spatial analytics is an understudied area, and this project is an important advancement in the field. Newsrooms can benefit from having a different understanding of their news coverage and the communities they interact with when they have the opportunity to analyze geographic data along with other layers of information in a spatial analytics framework. We hope that the project inspires continued experimentation in this area, and provides actionable takeaways for other newsrooms interested in better understanding their coverage through geospatial approaches.
The project was initially funded by the Google News Initiative Innovation Challenge. Revenue growth was indirect for Bay City News as casual readers became more loyal readers using this tool, and eventually moved up the ladder of engagement to become small to medium-sized donors. Bloom has captured some ongoing revenue based on the continued use of its geotagging plugin.