Wausau Pilot & Review Staff

Wausau Pilot & Review on Tuesday were honored as finalists in three categories in the annual Local Independent Online News awards, a national contest that celebrates the best of independent online media across the U.S. and Canada.

In addition to being one of three finalists for Publisher of the Year, Wausau Pilot and Review was also a finalist in two additional categories: General Excellence and Best Solutions Journalism Project. Voice of OC, a publication in Orange County, Cal., earned the top honor for publisher of the year.

“We are so grateful to have been named as finalists in a group that represents hundreds of publications across the U.S. and Canada,” said Shereen Siewert, Wausau Pilot & Review founder and publisher. “Our fellow publishers inspire us every single day. But more importantly, we couldn’t do this work without the support of our community.”

Wausau Pilot and Review launched in March 2017 and is the city’s sole nonprofit, hyper-local online news publication. Other finalists include publications in Dallas, Chicago, Santa Cruz, San Jose, Charlotte, Milwaukee and Madison, among others.

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.

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.

In the Solutions Journalism category, Wausau Pilot & Review partnered with Madison365 for a three-part series exploring how the criminal justice system solved issues that emerged in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic.

This is the third year for the awards, which invited nearly 30 judges from across the industry to evaluate more than 240 entries from LION members.

Wausau Pilot & Review earned top honors in investigative reporting in the 2019 awards and was a finalist in 2020 in the breaking news category for the newspaper’s reporting on the Oct. 3, 2019 shooting at Pine Grove Cemetery that left one person dead and two people injured.