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Wausau Pilot and Review is one of three finalists for Publisher of the Year, a national award that will be announced Oct. 25 in Nashville at the annual Local Independent Online Newspaper Publishers (LION) conference.

Online newspapers from across the country are considered for the awards, which recognize excellence in journalism, business and technology. An independent group of judges reviewed the award applicants in detail over the past month. Wausau Pilot and Review is also a finalist in the Investigative Report of the Year category.

“We are humbled by this honor and are so grateful to our readers and supporters who make this work possible,” said Shereen Siewert, Wausau Pilot and Review publisher.

Wausau Pilot and Review launched in March 2017 and is the city’s sole nonprofit, hyper-local online news publication. The newspaper is competing for the awards in the large market division, a designation based not on population but on the number of page views and unique visitors each site receives in an average month. Publications in Madison, Wis., Tucson, Ariz., Berkley, Calif., and Charlottesville are among the nominees in several categories.

LION named 45 publishers as finalists for its inaugural awards across 15 categories, including Business Idea of the Year, presented by the Donald W. Reynold Journalism Institute, Technology Innovation of the Year, presented by Facebook, and Best Solutions Journalism Project of the Year, presented by Solutions Journalism Network, which includes a $2,000 grant for the winner to produce another solutions journalism project in the next year.

Amara Aguilar, USC Annenberg; Christine Schmidt, Nieman Lab; Courtney Cowgill, University of Montana; Craig Silverman, BuzzFeed; Dana Coester, West Virginia University; Dawn Garcia, JSK Fellowships; Doug Mitchell, Next Generation Radio; Eve Pearlman, Spaceship Media; Jane Elizabeth, Charlotte News & Observer; Jessica Pucci, Arizona State University; Jim Rutenberg, New York Times; Julia B. Chan, Mother Jones; Ken Doctor, Newsonomics; Kristen Hare, Poynter; Laura Owen, Nieman Lab; Reuben Stern, University of Missouri served as judges for this year’s awards.

The mission of LION Publishers is to foster the viability and excellence of locally focused independent online news organizations and cultivate their connections to their communities through education and action.