Thursday, Sept. 14, 2023
The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm in Bennington
A celebration of Nebraska journalism, the stories that bring us together, and the stories that challenge us and our leaders to do better for our communities.
Note: Tickets to this event are sold out
Mark your calendar Thursday, September 14, for an evening that promises to be as interesting, enlightening, and distinctly Nebraskan as our journalism aspires to be.
We’ll start the evening with a panel of all-star journalists who know a thing or two about Nebraska, moderated by our own Matthew Hansen. We’ll talk about the issues, the news media and — in true Flatwater style — whatever you want to talk about since we’ll ask for your questions.
Then we’ll say a few words, recognize special guests and follow the program with a happy hour and food trucks. Because we like to do things a little differently.
Start time: We’re so excited, we’re opening the doors early, at 5:00 p.m. Program starts at 6:00 p.m. We encourage you to arrive early, grab a drink, and socialize; the program will start on time.
Dress: Business casual or jeans if you prefer – we’re in a barn!
Construction alert: With State Street under construction and closed, The Barn is accessible only from Military Road. From 156th Street, head east/southeast on Military. See map below.
CEO and Executive Director, Online News Association
Omaha native LaSharah Bunting leads the world’s largest digital journalism association. Previously, she served as Vice President and Executive Editor at Simon & Schuster. At the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, she directed initiatives that drove digital transformation in newsrooms, promoted equity, and fostered new skills development, following a successful 13-year tenure at the New York Times where she held various editorial roles.
Reporter, New York Times
Dionne Searcey, originally from Wymore, won the 2020 Pulitzer Prize for international reporting and is the author of the book “In Pursuit of Disobedient Women.” Her career spans roles as a U.S. politics reporter, West Africa bureau chief, and investigative reporter. She’s reported on subjects ranging from women suicide bombers in West Africa to fiscal crises in Long Island and natural disasters like the 2010 earthquake in Haiti and Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy.
Chief National Affairs Correspondent, CNN
Jeff Zeleny, originally from Exeter, assumed the role of CNN’s chief national affairs correspondent in January 2021. With a wealth of experience spanning five presidential elections, Zeleny’s career includes roles at ABC News as their senior Washington correspondent, where he reported on the Obama administration and the Republican Party’s rise to power during the 2014 midterm elections.
Emcee: Carol Wang
Executive Director, Metro Omaha Medical Association
Carol Wang is the Executive Director of the Metro Omaha Medical Society after having spent a career as a journalist. She worked as a newspaper reporter before moving to television news in Topeka, Wichita, Dallas and finally as the evening anchor at KMTV in Omaha, where she earned several awards for her reporting. She’s an active volunteer in the community, serving on the Aksarben Women’s Ball Committee, the Omaha Chamber of Commerce Board, advisory committees for the Omaha Public Library Foundation, OneWorld Community Health Centers, and Omaha Performing Arts. She’s also been recognized for her volunteerism, being named one of the Ten Outstanding Young Omahans. Most recently she was selected for the Mavis Bock Leadership Award from the Omaha Public Library Foundation. In 2023, Carol joined the board of the Nebraska Journalism Trust, the nonprofit publisher of the Flatwater Free Press.
- Entree: Two pizza slices
- Side: Pasta Salad
- Side: Mac & Cheese
Pizza flavors: Pepperoni, Carnivore, Cheese Lover, Pesto Chicken
- Entree: Jollof Rice
- Entree: Roots Poutine
- Entree: Soweto Sandwich
- Side Jerk Chicken
- Side: Chakalaka
- Side: Plantain
- Entree: Enchiladas
- Entree: Burrito
- Side: Chips & Salsa
- Side: Beans & Rice
- Entree: 4 Wontons
- Side: 2 Wontons
Peanut Butter Chicken,
Crab Rangoon, Elote,
Spinach Chicken Artichoke, Strawberry Feta
Dessert by Paper Moon Pastries
For this inaugural Flatwater Festival, we’ve reserved The Barn at the Ackerhurst Dairy Farm in Bennington, just northwest of the Omaha metro. Our goal is to make the Festival an annual fall tradition that bounces around the state.
Address: 15220 Military Rd, Bennington, NE 68007
Parking: Parking in the Barn’s lot is limited; overflow parking is in the adjacent neighborhood. Please help everyone by carpooling if possible. People with mobility limitations should arrive early to get a spot in the lot. The Barn itself is ADA accessible.