By Shereen Siewert

If you’re reading this, you may have already encountered our new registration wall, one that requires a login to read our material. I want to reassure you that this is not a paywall, an issue I feel strongly about. Our content will remain free to read.

Now, we’re asking you to create a free account for that unlimited access to our reporting. All you need to do is enter your email address when the alert pops up on your screen.

Why the change? In short, it will help us serve you better.

For starters, an account means a user dashboard where you have more control over your notification preferences and a “Help” button that gives you another direct line to our inbox.

More importantly, an account will give you access to new ways to direct our reporting. Our goal is to always be responsive to the community, and accounts will enable us to reach out to you with surveys and opportunities to develop our reporting. Finally, by requiring registration, we’ll have a little more visibility into who in our audience has real stakes in the improvement of our community and can focus much more attention on their needs and interests.

I founded Wausau Pilot & Review in 2017 in order to bring in-depth, local news reporting to our community. This change is a big step forward to better serving you, and fulfilling our mission. That mission is made possible by hundreds of neighbors who have stood up to support locally-owned, independent reporting to benefit Wausau.

Wausau Pilot & Review will remain free for all to read. But it’s not free to produce. There are obvious costs, such as salaries and office space rental. But we also need to keep our equipment like laptops and cameras in good working condition. We pay hefty fees for web hosting and development, and we pay thousands each year to pay for open records requests, which we use as the basis of much of our investigative work. If you’d like to support our work, we urge you to become a member today.

But rest assured, your access will always be free.

Thank you for your support and commitment to local news in our community.