About Us

About Courier Newsroom

UpNorthNews is owned and operated by Courier Newsroom, a civic media company with eight state-based newsrooms. Our mission is to protect and strengthen our democracy through credible, fact-based journalism that seeks to create a more informed, engaged, and representative America. 

We reach audiences who are not regularly engaging with civic information, and who are unlikely to subscribe to paywalled journalism. As part of that effort, we deliver much of our reporting on the social platforms our readers use most frequently.

Courier’s newsrooms practice independent, point-of-view journalism. You can read about UpNorthNews’ values in the statement below. The managing editor of each site, in addition to Courier Newsroom’s VP of Content, has sole discretion and control over the editorial process.

Courier Newsroom is a public benefit corporation owned by Good Information Inc., and is supported by reader contributions, sponsors, philanthropic donations, and corporate underwriting. We maintain an editorial firewall between our newsrooms and underwriters, sponsors, and donors. We do not accept funding from any national or state political party, party committee, candidate, or campaign.

See Courier’s website for additional information about our national team and our funding model.

Contributions or gifts in support of UpNorthNews’ journalism are not tax deductible as charitable contributions.
UpNorthNews is part of the Courier Newsroom network. All payments will be made to Courier Newsroom.

UpNorthNews: Here’s Where We’re Coming From

UpNorthNews is a locally based digital news source dedicated to exploring how the daily goings-on in places of power—especially Madison and Washington, DC—impact Wisconsin families and communities. Our people-centered, fact-based stories, videos, and graphics are delivered in a variety of ways, including social media posts, website articles, graphics, and newsletters in your inbox.

The decline of local news has left much of Wisconsin without adequate sources of credible, fact-based information about important issues in our state. UpNorthNews works to put more quality reporting into our state every day and to combat the misinformation that often fills news voids.

Our staff is located throughout Wisconsin, filing stories about people, places, history, arts, and issues from Beloit to Bayfield, Marinette to Madison, Wausau to Waukesha, and beyond.

Our Values

We will not manufacture “both sides” coverage that has long plagued traditional media by giving equal or disproportionate weight to conspiracy theories, junk science, or baseless speculation. We will provide proper context to ensure we do not amplify misinformation. 

We are Unabashedly Wisconsin. We live, work, and play in the Badger State—and we love it here. That means we have a stake in its success, and we will never shy away from that fact, nor will we act as cold observers detached from the people and places we cover or the democracy that is the base for a free press and free elections. 

Because we’re living and breathing Wisconsinites who care about our fine state, we want to be up front and transparent about what you can expect from us. Through our experiences and professional observations, we have developed a set of values that guide our coverage:

  • Everyone should have a right to freely and easily cast a vote—and it only stands to benefit our communities when as many people are engaged in the civic process as possible, whether that’s making their voice heard at a school board meeting or casting a ballot on Election Day.
  • Wisconsin is on the frontlines of the nationwide attack on voting rights that attempts to subvert our democracy. Everyone, including newsrooms, should do their part to actively push back on the lies used to justify new restrictions on voting and undermine faith in the electoral system.
  • Gerrymandering, by any political party, poisons politics by radicalizing elected officials and allowing them to become complacent while ignoring public consensus.
  • Government is an essential part of our lives, and its primary goal should be to help people succeed—not to mindlessly shrink itself.
  • Access to health care, affordable housing, and usable public transportation are fundamentally good to our state’s wellbeing.
  • The weakening of labor unions in Wisconsin has directly contributed to the state’s worsening income inequality.
  • Climate change threatens everyone in Wisconsin, whether through increasingly severe storms eroding our shorelines, algae blooms poisoning our ecosystems, or floods devastating family farms.
  • Communities across Wisconsin of all political stripes face funding crises due to ever-declining state aid and harsh limits on options to raise tax revenue—often through regressive means. Efforts to impede local control cause direct harm to municipalities and put additional burdens on residents and entrepreneurs.
  • Public schools should be properly and equitably funded, and teachers should be adequately compensated.
  • Efforts to undermine science-based responses to health crises—such as the COVID-19 pandemic—should be called out for what they are: public health risks.
  • Wisconsin has some of the worst racial disparities in the nation by virtually any metric. We will lift up those voices and highlight efforts to improve the situation and expose those who exacerbate it.
  • State government has done too little for too long to attract and retain residents. Our communities are better off when young people do not feel forced out of state to find good jobs or escape regressive laws, and when we welcome new neighbors from other states and other countries.

These values will be a primary consideration as we inform our readers about politics, policy, and people. We are committed to writing stories centered on people who aren’t politicians—people who live, work, and recreate in communities across Wisconsin. 

There is a place for newsrooms that report on the debates that take place in the meetings of boards, committees, and other bodies, but we want our reporting to translate those debates into real impacts if a matter is passed, blocked, or changed.

Staff

Tara McGowan
Publisher

About Courier Newsroom

UpNorthNews is a part of Courier Newsroom, a civic media company composed of eight state-based newsrooms dedicated to reporting on the issues most important to building more informed and engaged communities. The managing editor of each site, in addition to Courier Newsroom’s editor-in-chief, has sole discretion and control over the editorial process.

Courier Newsroom is driven by a set of values that ensures we hold ourselves to the highest journalistic standards, and the voices of the people in our communities are always centered in our reporting.

Current Courier Newsroom Properties