Lawsuit threatens to shutter and silence local newspaper

Lawsuit threatens to shutter and silence local newspaper

(Aug. 16, 2023) — The Concord Clayton Pioneer thanks all of our readers and advertisers for supporting this local news source. However, we want to bring the following to your attention.

Wausau Pilot & Review is a nonprofit, independent, online news outlet serving central Wisconsin with a small team of award-winning reporters. A lawsuit is threatening to silence and shutter the organization.

The Pilot launched in 2017, when larger outlets were scaling back their coverage in a big way. Since then, the newspaper has become Wausau’s primary source for hard-hitting local news – coverage that has earned more than a dozen state and national awards.

In 2021, the newspaper reported on a contentious meeting that centered on a county-wide diversity initiative. That story led to a lawsuit by Cory Tomczyk, who is now a Wisconsin state senator. Though a judge dismissed the case, Tomczyk is now appealing, and the legal expenses are already well into the six figures.

Read the NY Times story here:

Why is local news so important? The American Journalism Project puts it this way: Local news is our most trusted source for information about the world around us. It provides a shared understanding of what’s happening in our city halls, schools, and businesses.

Local news connects us to our community and to our neighbors. It uplifts voices that would otherwise go unheard. It demands accountability of community, business, and governmental bodies. And it forces decision-making structures to operate within the public’s view.

The Concord Clayton Pioneer  supports keeping local news alive in here and in Wausau in the face of this enormous financial challenge. This fundraiser will help pay those legal expenses and keep local reporters working.

If you can, please donate to the GoFundMe page that is raising money to help out this local newspaper pay its legal bills: click here.