Blog

‘Journalists Are Not The Enemy’

By Justin Silverman In an effort to counter the anti-media rhetoric being expressed by President Trump, The Boston Globe called on newspapers throughout the country to publish editorials today emphasizing the value of journalism and a free press. According to the Globe: A central pillar of President Trump’s politics is a sustained assault on the […]

Attacks on Press Pose Danger to Journalists, Democracy

By June Speakman On Aug. 5, Brian Stelter, anchor of CNN’s Reliable Sources, shared with viewers an audiotape of a call to a CSPAN political show in which the caller said that if he ran into Stelter and CNN correspondent Don Lemon, he would “shoot” them. Earlier in the week, MSNBC’s Katy Tur read an […]

Advocacy Group Renews Request for Report on Woman’s Death After Public Records Ruling

Have a public records story you would like to share? Email justin@nefac.org with your experience trying to obtain information through a state public records law. By David Kassel The Massachusetts supervisor of public records ruled in April that the state’s Disabled Persons Protection Commission (DPPC) can keep all investigative reports on the sudden death of […]

First Amendment: Democrats and Republicans Alike Have Trampled on Free Press Rights

By Edward Fitzpatrick Perhaps it comes as no surprise that prosecutors in President Donald Trump’s Justice Department secretly seized years’ worth of a New York Times reporters’ phone and email records as part of a leak investigation. But no one appreciates the danger of such a step more than James Risen, the former New York […]

Janus v. AFSCME and ‘Weaponizing the First Amendment’

By Michael J. Yelnosky On June 27, the U.S. Supreme Court announced its 5-4 decision in Janus v. AFSCME. The majority held that the First Amendment prohibited the enforcement of ubiquitous provisions in collective bargaining agreements between public sector labor unions and government employers requiring all employees represented by the union to pay their share […]

In Wake of Capital Gazette Shooting, Remembering Journalism’s Mission

By Justin Silverman A gunman harboring a grudge against the Capital Gazette, a community newspaper outside Annapolis, Md., opened fire in its newsroom last week killing five staff members and injuring several others. Those killed include the editorial page editor, an editor and features columnist, a longtime sports reporter and editor and a local news […]

Farce and Tragedy of 38 Studios Warrants Full Disclosure

By Edward Fitzpatrick It is our Watergate. The 38 Studios debacle might not have produced a constitutional crisis or a legal battle (over the Nixon White House tapes) that went all the way to the Supreme Court of the United States. But Curt Schilling’s ill-fated video-game venture certainly produced a monumental crisis here in Rhode […]

Playing Word Games with Massachusetts Public Records Requests

By Colman Herman In an effort to shield information from the public, it is not uncommon for government officials in Massachusetts to play word games when responding to public records requests. Here’s a prime example. I recently made a public records request for certain communications made by the secretary of the Executive Office of Administration […]

Mass. SJC: Board Members Can’t Secretly Evaluate Public Employees By Email

By Erinn Cawthon and Jeffrey Pyle On April 5, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts held that members of a board of selectmen violated the Open Meeting Law by using email to secretly share their opinions about the performance of a town administrator in advance of a public meeting. The opinion provides important guidance on […]