NEFAI 2019 Schedule

Journalists from a variety of media and all six New England states will gather Sept. 22-24 at Northeastern University in Boston to learn the latest investigative and database reporting techniques and public records access skills. The fellows chosen for this ninth 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 2019.

DAY ONE — The Value of Transparency

September 22

2:00 Registration

2:45 – 4:00 Keynote Address

4:00 – 4:15 Break

4:15 – 6:00 Panel: 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.

7:30 Dinner [Off-Site]

Dinner will be served off-site. A shuttle will be provided.

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

September 23

8:15 – 8:30 Announcements

8:30 – 9:30 Common Pitfalls in Accessing Documents Through FOI Requests and How to Respond 

9:30 – 9:45 Break

9:45 – 11:15 Web Scraping

11:15 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 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 

Maine 

Massachusetts 

New Hampshire

Rhode Island  

Vermont 

12:15 Lunch 

1:15 – 1:30 Break

1:30 – 3:00 Tips for Staying Out of Legal Trouble: Common Issues in Defamation and Invasion of Privacy

3:00 – 3:15 Break

3:15 – 4:15 Former Fellows Panel

5:15 – 8:30 (or later) Dinner and Presentation [Off-Site]

Dinner will be served off-site. Shuttles will be provided.

5:45 – 6:45 Featured Speaker

6:15 Dinner

DAY THREE — Digging Deeply and Listening Carefully

September 24

8:15 – 8:30 Announcements 

8:30 – 10:00 Panel: Effective Sourcing 

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

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

Advanced Database Analysis

12:15 – 1:45 Lunch [Curry Student Center – McLeod Suites]

12:45 Featured Speaker

1:45 – 2:30 Photo/Break

2:30 – 3:30 Break-Out Sessions C

The Confrontational Interview & Transition to Audio or Video 

Writing Workshop and Narrative Flow 

3:30 – 3:45 Concluding Remarks 

Justin Silverman | New England First Amendment Coalition