Matt Waite is a professor of practice in the College of Journalism and Mass Communications at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln.

Since he joined the faculty in 2011, he founded the Drone Journalism Lab, the first of its kind at a journalism school. His students have used drones to report news in six countries on three continents. He regularly speaks about the legal and ethical complexities of using drones at conferences around the world 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. He created an open learning lab for students called Maker Hours, helped develop an interdisciplinary minor in Informatics and serves on the Publications Board of the Daily Nebraskan. In 2016, he received the University of Nebraska’s Innovation, Development and Entrepreneurship Award and was inducted into the Nebraska Press Association’s Hall of Fame in October.

From 2007-2011, he was a hybrid programmer/journalist for the St. Petersburg Times where he developed PolitiFact, a website that fact checks what politicians say. The site became the first website awarded the Pulitzer Prize in 2009.

Before becoming a web developer, he was an award-winning investigative reporter. He began his journalism career at the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette in Little Rock, covering police and breaking news, including the crash of American Airlines flight 1420 in 1999. In 2000, he moved to the St. Petersburg Times. From 2005-2007, he co-authored a series of award-winning stories about Florida’s vanishing wetlands. That work was later expanded into a book, “Paving Paradise: Florida’s Vanishing Wetlands and the Failure of No Net Loss,” published in 2009 by the University Press of Florida.


University of Nebraska-Lincoln | Lincoln, NE Masters of Science in Business Analytics | Dec 2020

University of Nebraska-Lincoln | Lincoln, NE B.J in Journalism | Dec 1997


Professor of practice | University of Nebraska-Lincoln | August 2011 - Present

Reporter, Technologist | Tampa Bay Times, St. Petersburg, FL | March 2000 - Feb. 2011

Reporter | Arkansas Democrat Gazette, Little Rock, AR | January 1998 - Feb. 2000