On July 30, 2021 at Lincoln South Rotary Club we will hear about Flatwater Free Press on the topic "Nebraska’s journalism is on the ropes".
Topic: Lincoln South Rotary Club Meeting 2021_0730
Time: Jul 30, 2021 12:00 PM Central Time (US and Canada)
Meeting ID: 867 1714 6442


Nebraska’s journalism is on the ropes. Entertainment and sports dominate revenue, leading to more of that low-stakes news. It’s increasingly difficult to find time and resources for costly journalism that holds institutions accountable, explains policy, and gives us an identity. 

The Nebraska Journalism Trust is launching the Flatwater Free Press, which seeks to plug our growing news gap with two types of work that are most at risk: investigations and human-interest features. Consider it the Sunday newsmagazine of the 21st century -- a home for profiles and exposes alike. We are unapologetically inclusive. We lift up regular Nebraskans. We expose wrongdoings of those with power. We punch up.

Our team will publish 1-2 stories a week in a variety of media. “Stories” encompass a mix of the written word, documentary-style video, podcasts and data-driven news applications. We meet our audience where they are, and take care to spread our work beyond the pieces we publish through salons and other nontraditional venues.


Mathew Hansen, Editor

Matthew Hansen is the editor of the Flatwater Free Press, Nebraska’s first statewide nonprofit news source. Hansen, a 16-year veteran of Nebraska newspapers, has previously worked as a reporter at the Lincoln Journal Star and then a reporter and metro columnist at the Omaha World-Herald.

During his time in newspapers, he travelled to Cuba and Afghanistan and won multiple state, regional and national awards for investigative stories, feature stories and columns. He was the 2015 Great Plains Writer of the Year. Most recently Hansen has served as the managing editor at the Buffett Early Childhood Institute, creating a new website focusing on early childhood education.

The native of Red Cloud and one-time intern at the Red Cloud Chief and the Hastings Tribune now lives in Omaha and is married to Sarah Baker-Hansen, a longtime Nebraska food writer and restaurant critic.Their book together, “The Better Half” is an examination of the Nebraska’s finest road trips, restaurants and hidden stories.


Matt Wynn, Executive Director

Matt Wynn is the Executive Director of the Nebraska Journalism Trust, which is launching the Flatwater Free Press this fall. Most recently, he was an editor on the investigative desk at USA Today, where his dive into the proliferation of model bills was awarded the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting. Prior to that, he was the Director of Investigative and Enterprise at MedPage Today. He also spent time as a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and other newspapers. An Omaha Central alum, he graduated from the University of Missouri-Columbia. He lives in Omaha with his wife, Sarah, and three children.