NEFAI 2018 Schedule

Journalists from a variety of media and all six New England states will gather Sept. 16-18 at Northeastern University in Boston to learn the latest investigative and database reporting techniques and public records access skills. The fellows chosen for this eighth annual New England First Amendment Institute reflect today’s diverse news media and come from daily and weekly newspapers, television and radio stations and online publications. Learn more about NEFAI 2018.

DAY ONE — The Value of Transparency

September 16

2:00 Registration [Egan Hall]

2:45 – 4:00 Keynote Address [Egan Hall]

Stephanie McCrummen | The Washington Post

Introduction: Karen Bordeleau | NEFAC president, former executive editor of The Providence Journal

4:00 – 4:15 Break

4:15 – 6:00 Panel: Tales from the Trenches [Egan Hall]

Panelists will share their practical experience in investigative work through painstaking interviewing and use of freedom of information laws to unearth corruption and bring truth to light.

Mike Beaudet | WCVB-Boston, Northeastern University
Jennifer Bjorhus | Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.)
Michael Kilian | Burlington Free Press

Moderator: Karen Bordeleau | NEFAC president, former executive editor of The Providence Journal

7:30 Dinner [Off-Site – Location TBD]

A shuttle will be provided from the institute hotel to the restaurant at 7 p.m. and from the restaurant back to the hotel at 9:30 p.m.

DAY TWO — How Do We Harness FOI Laws and Public Data to Further Investigations

September 17

8:15 – 8:30 Announcements [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

8:30 – 9:30 Common Pitfalls in Accessing Documents Through FOI Requests and How to Respond [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

Jenifer McKim | New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Cheryl W. Thompson | George Washington University, Contributing Investigative Reporter for The Washington Post
Tim White | WPRI-Providence

Moderator: Karen Bordeleau | NEFAC president, former executive editor of The Providence Journal

9:30 – 9:45 Break

9:45 – 10:45 Tips for Staying Out of Legal Trouble: Common Issues in Defamation and Invasion of Privacy [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

Robert A. Bertsche | Prince Lobel Tye, LLP
Gregory V. Sullivan | Malloy & Sullivan

10:45 – 11:15 Break

11:15 – 1:15 Break-Out Sessions A

The specifics of each state’s public records and open meeting laws will be discussed and hands-on cases will be reviewed in break-out sessions with knowledgeable attorneys and journalists from each state.

Connecticut [Room 340]

James H. Smith | New England First Amendment Coalition

Maine [McLeod Suites]

Dieter Bradbury | Portland Press Herald
Sigmund Schutz | PretiFlaherty

Massachusetts [McLeod Suites]

Peter J. Caruso, Sr. | Caruso and Caruso, LLP
Todd Wallack | The Boston Globe

New Hampshire [Room 346]

Rick Gagliuso | Gagliuso and Gagliuso, PA
Nancy West | InDepthNH

Rhode Island  [McLeod Suites]

Raymond A. Marcaccio | Oliverio & Marcaccio, LLP
Amanda Milkovits | Providence Journal

Vermont [Room 346]

Michael Donoghue | Burlington Free Press (formerly)
Lia Ernst | American Civil Liberties Union of Vermont

12:15 Lunch [Served in Senate Chambers – Room 333]

1:15 – 1:30 Break

1:30 – 2:30 Thinking Through a Story From Hunch to Headline While Using Available Databases [Senate Chambers – Room 333]


2:30 – 2:45 Break

2:45 – 3:45 Former Fellows Panel [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

Collin Binkley | The Associated Press
Nicole Dungca | The Boston Globe

Moderator: Michael Donoghue | Vermont Press Association

4:45 – 8:30 (or later) Dinner and Presentation [Off-Site – Location TBD]

Shuttles will be provided for those who need transportation from the institute to the restaurant. A shuttle will also be provided from the restaurant to the institute hotel at 8:30 p.m. though you are welcome to stay later.

5:15 – 6:15 Featured Speaker

Terence Smith | Contributing Columnist, Capital Gazette (Annapolis, Md.)

6:15 Dinner

DAY THREE — Digging Deeply and Listening Carefully

September 18

8:15 – 8:30 Announcements [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

8:30 – 10:00 Panel: Effective Sourcing [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

When your FOI request languishes your reporting continues. Developing sources, relationships, knowing how to evaluate what you get.

Cindy Galli | ABC News
Eric Moskowitz | The Boston Globe
Emilie Munson | Hearst Connecticut

Moderator: Michael Donoghue | Vermont Press Association

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 12:15 Break-Out Sessions B

Using database technology to analyze publicly available or FOI-request-won data to understand societal, financial, and economic trends is an important tool for the seasoned reporter.

Basic Database Analysis [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

Brooke Williams | Boston University
Samata Joshi | Boston University

Advanced Database Analysis [Room 346]

Matt Kauffman | Hartford Courant

12:15 – 1:45 Lunch [McLeod Suites]

12:45 Featured Speaker

David Cuillier | The University of Arizona

1:45 – 2:30 Photo/Break [TBD]

2:30 – 3:30 Break-Out Sessions C

The Confrontational Interview & Transition to Audio or Video [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

Eric Rasmussen | Boston 25 News

Writing Workshop and Narrative Flow [Room 346]

Jeff Howe | Northeastern University

3:30 – 3:45 Concluding Remarks [Senate Chambers – Room 333]

Justin Silverman | New England First Amendment Coalition