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Matt Waite to keynote Strengthening Democracy Awards

Pulitzer Prize winner, PolitiFact founder and University of Nebraska-Lincoln professor Matt Waite will keynote Civic Nebraska’s Strengthening Democracy Awards on April 12.

Waite, a professor of practice in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at Nebraska, will discuss the importance of a strong, independent media in our democracy and what Nebraskans can do to support it.

As founder of the Drone Journalism Lab – the first of its kind at a journalism school – Waite speaks around the world about the legal and ethical complexities of using drones and is frequently consulted by media organizations about their potential.

He also teaches courses in data journalism, web development and the intersection of storytelling and technology. While at The St. Petersburg Times, he developed PolitiFact, a website that fact-checks what politicians say. In 2009, PolitiFact became the first website awarded the Pulitzer Prize.

Matt Waite, a Pulitzer Prize winner, Nebraska U. journalism professor and founder of the Drone Journalism Lab. (Courtesy University of Nebraska-Lincoln)

“At a time of disruption and change in the media, one thing remains clear: Citizens need a strong, independent media to fully participate in our democracy,” said Adam Morfeld, Civic Nebraska’s executive director. “Matt Waite is a globally recognized expert on modern media, and we’re looking forward to him sharing his indispensable insights.”

Civic Nebraska hosts Strengthening Democracy Awards each year to recognize Nebraskans who demonstrate outstanding civic leadership in their communities.

This year’s celebration is 5 p.m. April 12 at Chez Hay, 210 N. 14th St. For tickets, visit the Strengthening Democracy Awards event page on Facebook or at its EventBrite page.

Civic Nebraska will announce this year’s winners March 15.