Nebraskans want accountability from their elected officials and government. Are their tax dollars well-spent? Are state agencies and local governments responsive to the people? Are officials, programs and policies working for the common good and a better future for our state? 

The Nebraska Examiner was established to provide a hard-hitting, daily flow of important news, scoops and reports to help us better understand our community.


Our website is free — free of ads, free of paywalls, free of paid subscriptions. The Nebraska Examiner is independent, nonprofit and nonpartisan, dedicated to producing a vigorous news report about the Cornhusker State.  

We also provide a forum for commentary. Opinion pieces are labeled as such, and Examiner reporters do not contribute to our commentary. We invite commentary from the community. Read our submission guidelines here. 

Editorial independence

We make our work available to your community newspapers and other media outlets with proper attribution. 

The Nebraska Examiner is part of States Newsroom, a national 501(c)(3) supported by grants and a coalition of donors and readers. The Examiner retains full editorial independence.


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Cate Folsom


Editor-in-Chief Cate Folsom has more than 40 years of experience in daily journalism, spending the bulk of that time at the Omaha World-Herald. She worked in various roles, including features writer, copy editor, Washington Bureau reporter, assistant city editor, investigative team editor, metro-regional editor and editorial page editor. She has led numerous award-winning reporting efforts, including investigations that triggered resignations of state officials and reforms in state law. Cate, an Omaha native, was inducted into the Omaha Press Club Hall of Fame in 2018.

Paul Hammel

Senior Reporter

Senior Reporter Paul Hammel has covered the Nebraska Legislature and Nebraska state government for decades. He started his career reporting for the Omaha Sun and was named editor of the Papillion Times in 1982. He later worked as a sports enterprise reporter at the Lincoln Journal-Star. He joined the Omaha World-Herald in 1990, working as a legislative reporter, then roving state reporter and finally Lincoln bureau chief. Paul has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Associated Press and Suburban Newspapers of America. A native of Ralston, Nebraska, he is vice president of the John G. Neihardt Foundation and secretary of the Nebraska Hop Growers.

Cindy Gonzalez

Senior Reporter

Senior Reporter Cindy Gonzalez, an Omaha native, has more than 35 years of experience, largely at the Omaha World-Herald. Her coverage areas have included business and real estate development; regional reporting; immigration, demographics and diverse communities; and City Hall and local politics. She has won awards from organizations including Great Plains Journalism, the Society for Advancing Business Editing and Writing (SABEW) and the Associated Press. Cindy has been recognized by various nonprofits for community contributions and diversity efforts. She chairs the board that oversees the local university’s student newspaper.

Aaron Sanderford

Political Reporter

Reporter Aaron Sanderford has tackled various news roles in his 20-plus year career. He has reported on politics, crime, courts, government and business for the Omaha World-Herald and Lincoln Journal-Star. He also spent several years as an assignment editor and worked two stints as an editorial writer. From 2005 to 2007, he served as communications director for then-Nebraska Gov. Dave Heineman. Aaron, a North Carolina native, most recently was the lead investigative reporter for KMTV 3 in Omaha, focusing on holding public officials accountable. His work has received awards from the Associated Press, Great Plains Journalism and more.

Zach Wendling


Zach Wendling is a senior at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, double-majoring in journalism and political science. He has interned for The Hill and The News Station in Washington, D.C., and has reported for the Nebraska News Service and The Daily Nebraskan.