NEFAI 2019

About the New England
First Amendment Institute

Journalists from a variety of media and all six New England states will gather Sept. 22-24 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 previous institutes here.


This year’s institute is made possible by the generosity of Northeastern University, the Academy of New England Journalists and Boston University.

Other supporters of NEFAC for this year include Hearst Connecticut Media Group,  Barr 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.

Application Materials — (Closed)

Application and Recommendation Form

Institute Materials


NEFAI 2019 News

Educator, Former Journalist Maria Hiaasen to Speak at Ninth Annual Institute
Miami Herald Editor Casey Frank to Open Ninth Annual New England First Amendment Institute
2019 New England First Amendment Institute Applications Available; Deadline August 9

Speakers and Presenters Include

• Caitlin Andrews | Bangor Daily News
Mike Beaudet | WCVB-Boston, Northeastern University
Robert A. Bertsche | Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Gilles Bissonnette | ACLU of New Hampshire
Peter Caruso | Caruso & Caruso
Laura Crimaldi | The Boston Globe
Michael Donoghue | Vermont Press Association
Zeninjor Enwemeka | WBUR-Boston
Lia Ernst | ACLU of Vermont
Thomas Fiedler | Boston University (formerly)
Casey Frank (Keynote Speaker) | Miami Herald
Cindy Galli | ABC News
Maria Hiaasen (Featured Speaker)
Jeff Howe | Northeastern University
Matt Kauffman | Hartford Courant (formerly)
Wesley Lowery | The Washington Post
Raymond A. Marcaccio | Oliverio & Marcaccio
Jenifer McKim | New England Center for Investigative Reporting
Judy Meyer | Sun Journal
Amanda Milkovits | The Boston Globe
Maggie Mulvihill | Boston University
Tara O’Neil | Hearst Connecticut Media Group
Mike Savino | WFSB-Hartford, Conn.
Sigmund Schutz | Preti Flaherty
Mary Schwind | Connecticut FOI Commission
Gregory V. Sullivan | Malloy & Sullivan
Tim White | WPRI-Providence
Brooke Williams | Boston University

Journalism Fellows

To Be Announced

Sample Program Topics

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.