Cordes, Hansen win 2016 Thomas C. Sorensen Award

Cordes, Hansen win 2016 Thomas C. Sorensen Award

Friday, April 28, 2017 - 4:30pm
Cordes headshot
Henry Cordes has worked as a reporter and staff writer for the Omaha World-Herald for more than 35 years.
Hansen headshot
Matt Hansen is a metro columnist at the Omaha World-Herald, where he writes two or three columns a week focused on Omaha and Nebraska.

Henry Cordes and Matt Hansen of the Omaha World-Herald were selected for the 2016 Thomas C. Sorensen Award for their investigative series into Goodwill Omaha.

Cordes has been a reporter and staff writer for the Omaha World-Herald for more than 35 years, serving as statehouse bureau chief in Lincoln and covering politics, the military and public policy. He's a five-time winner of the Sorensen Award and has won national awards for deadline writing, sports writing, business writing and agricultural writing. His deadline story on a 2007 mass shooting in Omaha was featured in the Poynter Institute's 2008 book, "Best Newspaper Writing.'' He also authored two books on the history of University of Nebraska football, "Unbeatable: Tom Osborne and the Greatest Era of Nebraska Football,” and “Devaney: Birth of a Dynasty.”

Hansen is a metro columnist at the Omaha World-Herald, where he writes two or three columns a week focused on Omaha and Nebraska. In his four years as a columnist he has written about presidents, senators and governors, cops, gangsters and drug snitches, Cuba, Afghanistan, love, death and an 85-year-old man who almost went to federal prison because he refused to stop growing bandit asparagus.

Hansen has worked in newspapers for more than a decade, starting at the Lincoln Journal Star and moving to the World-Herald in 2006. Previously he covered the military, writing extensively about Nebraska veterans living with PTSD. He traveled to Afghanistan to cover the war there. He has also covered higher education, where his stories helped lead to the impeachment of a University of Nebraska regent and the resignation of a UNO chancellor.

During his career, Hansen has won several national journalism awards, including a Society of Professional Journalists Award in 2009 and honors from the National Headliner Contest in 2013 and 2014. He was named the 2015 Great Plains Writer of the Year.

The Thomas C. Sorensen award was name for the former Nebraska journalist who left the state to pursue a career in government service. Sorensen graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln with a degree in journalism and political science. He was assistant night editor at the Lincoln State Journal and later served as news director and commentator on KLMS radio in Lincoln. Sorensen served with the United States Information Agency. Later he was an investment adviser, first with The Advest Group, Inc., and then with The Capital Group Companies, Inc. Sorensen came from a Nebraska family notable for its service in politics, education and business at the state, national and international levels.