NEFAI 2018

About the New England
First Amendment Institute

Journalists from a variety of media and all six New England states will gather Sept. 16-18 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 previous institutes here.


This year’s institute is made possible by the generosity of the Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, Northeastern University, the New England Newspaper & Press Association, the Academy of New England Journalists and Boston University.

Other supporters of NEFAC for this year include the Barr Foundation, The Robertson Foundation, The Boston Globe and WBUR-Boston.


Northeastern University, Boston

The institute will be held at Northeastern University, 360 Huntington Avenue, Boston, Mass. For more than 40 years, the university’s School of Journalism has combined academic excellence with practical experience, preparing students to be analytical thinkers and successful communicators. Here’s more information on Northeastern University. A campus map can be found here.

Institute Materials


Application Materials — (Closed)

Application and Recommendation Form

NEFAI 2018 News

• Deadline Today: Local Reporters, Editors, Producers Encouraged to Apply for NEFAI 2018 Fellowships
• Washington Post’s Stephanie McCrummen, 2018 Pulitzer Prize Winner, to Deliver NEFAI Keynote
• Fellowship Applications Due August 1 for Annual New England First Amendment Institute
• 2018 New England First Amendment Institute Applications Available; Deadline August 1

Speakers and Presenters Include

• Mike Beaudet | WCVB-Boston, Northeastern University
• Robert A. Bertsche | Prince Lobel Tye LLP
• Collin Binkley | Associated Press
• Jennifer Bjorhus | Star Tribune (Minneapolis, Minn.)
• Karen Bordeleau | The Providence Journal (formerly)
• Dieter Bradbury | Portland Press Herald
• Peter J. Caruso, Sr. | Caruso and Caruso, LLP
• David Cuillier | The University of Arizona
• Michael Donoghue | Vermont Press Association
• Nicole Dungca | The Boston Globe
• Lia Ernst | ACLU of Vermont
• Matt Kauffman | Hartford Courant
• Michael Kilian | Burlington Free Press
• Rick Gagliuso | Gagliuso and Gagliuso, PA
• Cindy Galli | ABC News
• Jeff Howe | Northeastern University
• Samata Joshi | Boston University
• Raymond A. Marcaccio | Oliverio & Marcaccio, LLP
• Amanda Milkovits | The Providence Journal
• Stephanie McCrummen | The Washington Post
• Jenifer McKim | New England Center for Investigative Reporting
• Eric Moskowitz | The Boston Globe
• Emilie Munson | Hearst Connecticut Media
• Eric Rasmussen | Boston 25 News
• Sigmund Schutz | Preti Flaherty
• James H. Smith | New England First Amendment Coalition
• Terence Smith | Contributing Columnist for Capital Gazette (Annapolis, Md.)
• Gregory V. Sullivan | Malloy & Sullivan
• Cheryl W. Thompson | George Washington University, Contributing Investigative Reporter for The Washington Post
• Todd Wallack | The Boston Globe
• Brooke Williams | Boston University
• Tim White | WPRI-Providence

Program Topics Include

Tales from the Trenches | 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.

Common Pitfalls | Panelists will discuss how to accessing documents through FOI requests and how to respond to denials.

Tips for Staying Out of Legal Trouble | A team of media attorneys will explain common issues of concern in defamation and privacy law.

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

The Confrontational Interview & Transition to Audio or Video | Veteran journalists will discuss how to prepare for difficult interviews and provide strategies on how to engage viewers and listeners.

Writing Workshop and Narrative Flow | Fellows will learn narrative writing techniques and how to improve their storytelling.

Hunch to Headline | Fellows will learn the steps necessary to follow up on a lead using publicly available databases and how to turn that information into a compelling story.

Effective Sourcing | Panelists will discuss how to best develop sources and relationships, and how to evaluate information.