The Island Free Press is Hatteras and Ocracoke islands’ first and only online newspaper.

The newspaper made its debut on Sept. 5, 2007 and has grown since then in coverage, content, and popularity with readers on and off the islands. The mission of The Island Free Press is to cover the people, the issues, and the happenings that are constantly shaping our Hatteras and Ocracoke communities.

It is edited and co-owned by Irene Nolan, who lives on and loves these islands and who knows their people and their issues.

The Island Free Press covers and posts the news as it happens, and its writers explain the past, examine the present, and explore the future for residents and visitors alike. Writers familiar to island readers cover everything from recreation to education, from policies to politics, and the Editor’s Blog puts all this in perspective.

The goal of The Island Free Press is not to just provide more information about the islands, but to encourage a better conversation about the issues that face islanders and visitors every day. We believe that the extensive, interesting, and varied content in our newspaper will serve our communities and at the same time attract the wide cross-section of readers that our advertisers want to reach.


Irene Nolan
is the co-owner and editor of The Island Free Press. She has been visiting Hatteras for more than 35 years and has lived here since 1991. She is a veteran journalist who edited The Island Breeze on Hatteras for 16 years after 22 years as a reporter and editor at The Courier-Journal, a statewide newspaper based in Louisville, Ky. Nolan was managing editor of the newspaper for the last five years of her tenure there, and during that time the newspaper staff won a Pulitzer Prize for general news reporting on a church bus crash, caused by a drunk driver, that killed 27 people, most of them children.

Donna Barnett
is the co-owner, graphic designer, and Web master. A Richmond, Va., native, she has been visiting Hatteras Island all of her life and spent her childhood summers in Salvo. She spent 10 years as a paralegal in Richmond and moved to Hatteras in 1997, shortly before her marriage to Hatteras native Charlie Barnett. They live in Hatteras village with their daughter Hannah, 12. She worked as a graphic designer for The Island Breeze for 10 years before joining The Island Free Press staff. Donna is also active in community organizations and is Vice President of the Hatteras Island Cancer Foundation.

Liza Hutter Lutz
is the advertising sales manager for The Island Free Press.  She moved to the Outer Banks in 1994 from Maryland, where she was the manager of Papa’s Garden, a clothing and specialty shop.  After managing the Duck and Kill Devil Hills stores for Papa’s Garden, she moved to Hatteras in 1997 to manage a store here. In 2000, she began working in advertising sales for The Island Breeze, a job she held for five years.  She married Matt Lutz in 2004.  The couple left Hatteras in 2007 and relocated to Chesapeake, Va., and eventually to Baltimore, Md. Liza and Matt, however, missed the Outer Banks too much and moved back in 2012. They live in Kitty Hawk with their daughters Isabel, 8, and Chloe, 4.


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Hatteras and Ocracoke's Premier Advertising Medium.

Irene Nolan - Editor/Co-Owner -   [email protected]  •  (252) 995-5323
Donna Barnett  -  Graphic Design/Web Master/Co-Owner - [email protected]   •  (252) 986-2542
Liza Lutz -  Advertising Sales - [email protected]  •  (252) 573-1759

Island Free Press, 50244 Captain's Court, Frisco, NC  27943
Mailing Address:  P. O. Box 414  •  Buxton, North Carolina  27920