Thanks to individual donations and grants from several organizations including the Community Foundation of North Central Wisconsin, Wausau Pilot and Review will soon launch a community journalism project to strengthen local media coverage.

The Documenters program will launch mid-October.

Wausau Pilot and Review strives to cover as many governmental meetings as possible. But with a small staff and many communities within the metro area that deserve our attention, attending those meetings is simply impossible.

In addition, we’ve learned that many of our readers are frustrated with an increasing lack of coverage for these important meetings and events – meetings in which important business is conducted that impacts you as a taxpayer and citizen. We’d like to invite you to help us improve our coverage by becoming a Wausau Pilot and Review Documenter.

The program is modeled loosely after similar programs in Chicago, New Jersey and California. In particular, City Buearu’s Documenters Program served as a basis for this initiative, which we are excited to share with our Wausau-area readers.

Here’s how the program works:

  • Readers fill out an application to become a Documenter
  • We meet with you to gauge your interest and see if the program is a good fit
  • Potential Documenters complete self-paced online training through Poynter, then spend an afternoon with us going over our mutual interests and expectations.
  • After completing both online and in-person training, you’ll choose the meetings you want to cover from our list of available assignments.
  • You submit your documentation within 24 hours via email in either a Word or Google Doc and we’ll post it online. Photos are encouraged.

Like the City Bureau program from which we took this program’s name, the Documenters program aims to strengthen our democracy in our local community by improving coverage through strong partnerships with our most engaged readers.

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Watch for more details, coming soon.