Isthmus Community Media, Inc.

Isthmus Community Media, Inc.

Hurtado Zimmerman SC is pleased this year to provide a donation to support Isthmus Community Media, a member-supported, nonprofit newspaper based in Madison, Wisconsin whose mission is to:

 “inform and engage the Madison community through independent, in-depth journalism. We believe in the power of storytelling.”

Founded in 1976 as an alternative newsweekly, the paper published continuously in print for more than four decades until COVID-19 hit in March, 2020. The then-owners of Isthmus paused print and laid off the entire staff. A small crew of volunteers stepped up to lead the transition of the paper as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit. In August, 2021 Isthmus returned to print as a monthly.

As a non profit, Isthmus has continued to provide news coverage of the Madison community, with a focus on watchdog journalism, in-depth news, and informed and diverse coverage of the local food, music and art scenes.  Isthmus also maintains a thorough community calendar of events and a platform for local opinion writers and guest columnists, as well as hosts candidate forums and debates.

Isthmus does not have an editorial board, write its own opinion pieces, or endorse local candidates. It provides opportunities for local businesses and organizations to help support important coverage of their community and to connect with its audience on multiple media platforms. It posts content on its website,, produces three newsletters emailed to

 readers, and promotes stories on social media, all services that are free of charge to its readers.

Isthmus has drawn on its deep roots in the community and is supported in part by readers and members; nearly one-third of its revenue in the past year has been from reader support.  Isthmus also continues to partner with local businesses with sponsorship opportunities in the paper and on, its website.

Since returning to print as a nonprofit in August 2021, Isthmus has:

  • Published in-depth stories on racial justice, the environment, politics, mental health and homelessness, including an essay on Wisconsin’s fraught relationship with wolves (“Howl”), which has won a prestigious first-place award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia for best feature; an investigative piece on a murder plot involving a family in Sun Prairie (“Murder-for-hire on the dark web”); and a piece on the immediate impact of the overturning of Roe v. Wade (“One Madison woman’s trip to Illinois for an abortion”)
  • Developed new features, including “One Dish” and “Digest,” to stay connected to Madison’s vital food and drink industry as it continues to work to emerge from the pandemic
  • Resumed broad coverage of Madison’s theater, visual arts, local music, books and sports scenes. Theater critic Gwendolyn Rice recently won a first-place award from the Association of Alternative Newsmedia for best arts criticism
  • Promoted the work of local artists by featuring original illustrations on the cover of each month’s print issue. Local artist Claire “Snaggle Tooth” Warhus’ illustration for “Howl” won first place for illustration from the Association for Alternative Newsmedia
  • Continued to compile and continuously update the city’s only comprehensive calendar of events
  • Trained promising young journalists through our internship program
  • Formed partnerships with the Wisconsin Center for Investigative Journalism and Wisconsin Humanities’ Love Wisconsin project to provide readers with diverse stories having statewide impact
  • Partnered with local storytellers Jen Rubin and Takeyla Benton to promote 12 episodes of their Inside Stories podcast online and on Isthmus’ social media platforms
  • Reignited partnerships with the Wisconsin Film Festival, Wisconsin Book Festival, other local arts organizations and dozens of Madison businesses
  • Launched a membership program to support operations and conducted a year-end matching fundraising campaign through the Institute for Nonprofit News and local donors that raised more than $80,000

Hurtado Zimmerman SC commends Isthmus for continuing to act as a powerful, positive community resource for investigative news reporting and support of arts and science that enrich our lives.  For more information about this independent media non profit, use this link:

We invite our clients and friends to join Hurtado Zimmerman, S.C. in making a donation, by using this link: one-time donation

If you would like to become a member supporter of Isthmus, use this link: member