Wausau Pilot & Review is a nonprofit, independent, online news outlet serving central Wisconsin with a small team of award-winning reporters. A lawsuit is threatening to silence and shutter the organization.
The Pilot launched in 2017, when larger outlets were scaling back their coverage in a big way. Since then, the newspaper has become Wausau's primary source for hard-hitting local news - coverage that has earned more than a dozen state and national awards.
In 2021, the newspaper reported on a contentious meeting that centered on a county-wide diversity initiative. That story led to a lawsuit by Cory Tomczyk, who is now a Wisconsin state senator. Though a judge dismissed the case, Tomczyk is now appealing, and the legal expenses are already well into the six figures. This fundraiser will help pay those legal expenses and keep local reporters working.
Read the NY Times story here: https://www.nytimes.com/2023/08/15/business/media/antigay-slur-wausau-pilot-review.html
Why is local news so important? The American Journalism Project puts it this way: Local news is our most trusted source for information about the world around us. It provides a shared understanding of what’s happening in our city halls, schools, and businesses.
Local news connects us to our community and to our neighbors. It uplifts voices that would otherwise go unheard. It demands accountability of community, business, and governmental bodies. It forces decision-making structures to operate within the public’s view.
Let's keep local news alive in Wausau in the face of this enormous financial challenge.