Wausau Pilot and Review is featured this week in Street Fight, a national publication focusing on entrepreneurial efforts and marketing.

In his story, writer Tom Grubisch describes the newspaper’s evolution from an idea discussed around the dinner table to a publication reaching more than 500,000 readers each month.

Local, digital news sites are on the rise nationwide as local newspapers continue to fall off the map or shift to a regional focus. About a third of large U.S. newspapers have suffered layoffs since 2017, according to a new study from Pew Research Center. Web-based news outlets such as Wausau Pilot and Review are stepping in to fill that void.

These publications are helping small communities access local news and information and, in some cases, are able to take coverage of certain topics or communities to the next level, said Shereen Siewert, publisher of Wausau Pilot and Review.

“You don’t have to have a print publication to make a big impact,” Siewert said. “It’s all about identifying gaps in local coverage and filling those gaps. But you also have to learn to think like a business person to make sure the project is sustainable.”

Wausau Pilot and Review is an independent, nonprofit, nonpartisan newspaper. The organization sustains operations through advertising revenue, memberships and donations. Through Dec. 31, all donations and membership fees are being matched through NewsMatch, a national matching-gift campaign to grow fundraising capacity in nonprofit newsrooms and promote giving to journalism among U.S. donors.

The publication is part of the Wisconsin Newspaper Association (WNA), the Institute for Nonprofit News (INN) and the Local Independent Online News publishers group (LION).