Accessing Public Health Data During the COVID-19 Pandemic | Justin Silverman, executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, led a discussion on the challenges facing open government during the current pandemic. The presentation was part of the 2020 NFOIC FOI Summit and featured speakers from the COVID Tracking Project, the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and The New York Times.
Internal Affairs Reports and Accountability Within the Worcester Police Department | A conversation with Brad Petrishen of the Worcester Telegram & Gazette about the newspaper’s ongoing efforts to obtain Internal Affairs reports and other law enforcement records from the city’s police department. Watch video here. Discussion notes and links here. Learn more about the need for police transparency here.
Police in Schools: Transparency Concerns and the Challenges of Keeping SROs Accountable | A conversation with Derek Brouwer at Seven Days about an incident at Bellows Free Academy in St. Albans and the challenges of reporting on School Resource Officers (SROs) in Vermont. Watch video here. Discussion notes and links here. View more videos and subscribe to NEFAC’s YouTube channel here.
Law Enforcement Transparency, Boston Police and the Massachusetts Public Records Law | A conversation with Jessie Rossman at the ACLU Foundation of Massachusetts about a recent lawsuit against the Boston Police Department for records about use of force incidents and surveillance of citizens. According to the lawsuit, officials have regularly responded to the requests with silence and delay. Watch video here.
Government Surveillance at U.S. Borders: A Look at the First Amendment and Alasaad v. Wolf | A conversation with Gabe Rottman at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press about Alasaad v. Wolf, a case before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit. The case involves 10 U.S. citizens and one lawful permanent resident who were subjected to searches of their electronic devices at the border. Watch video here.
The Gannett Family: Creating the First Amendment Museum in Augusta | A conversation with Genie Gannett, president and co-founder of the First Amendment Museum in Augusta, Maine, about the publishing career of her late grandfather Guy Gannett, the civil rights advocacy of her late grandmother, and the history of the museum and the building her family once called home. Watch video here and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Colonial and Early American Journalism: Revisiting Boston’s Newspaper Row | A conversation with Manny Paraschos, a professor emeritus at Emerson College, about Newspaper Row in Boston, once the epicenter of publishing and New England journalism. Professor Paraschos takes us back in time to describe how this area helped shape our current media landscape. Watch this video and read the show notes to learn more.
Local News: The Challenges Faced By Community Newsrooms and What We Can Do to Help | A conversation with journalist Alison Bethel McKenzie, Director of Corps Excellence for Report for America, on the importance of local journalism in our democracy, the challenges facing community newsrooms and what citizens can do to help. Watch this video and read the show notes to learn more.
Law Enforcement Transparency and Accountability: A National Perspective | Dan Bevarly, executive director of the National Freedom of Information Coalition, discusses efforts across the country to increase transparency within local and state police departments. Dan also provides an update on the continuing challenges to open government during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch this video and others about law enforcement transparency.
Deploying Federal Officers to Protests: Can the President Send Agents to New England Cities? | Victor M. Hansen, a law professor at New England Law Boston, explains the constitutional authority allowing the federal government to send law enforcement agents to local protests and whether such deployment could occur in cities throughout the region. Watch video. Subscribe to NEFAC on YouTube to view more videos.
Open Government During the Pandemic: Transparency Challenges in New England | NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman joined Jordan Frias of the Society of Professional Journalists New England Chapter and Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe to discuss open government challenges within the region during the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch video and learn more about what NEFAC is doing to help during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Student Journalism: Protecting Student Newsrooms in New England Through ‘New Voices’ Legislation | Hillary Davis at the Student Press Law Center and Susanna Serrano, student journalist at Oyster River High School (Durham, N.H.), describe the unique challenges facing student journalism and how the free press can be protected within New England schools. Watch video and learn more about the New Voices campaign.
Use of Force Policies: Police Reform Through Public Records Requests | A conversation with Paul Cuno-Booth, reporter for the Keene Sentinel, about obtaining Use of Force policies from all law enforcement agencies in New Hampshire and how his public records requests led to two police chiefs reconsidering the use of chokeholds. This discussion is part of NEFAC’s First Amendment and the Free Press program. Watch video.
Vermont Criminal Justice: Public Records, Police Misconduct and NPRmageddon | A conversation with Liam Elder-Connors, reporter for Vermont Public Radio, about a surprising public records response involving the state’s attorney general, efforts to expose police misconduct and an appearance on NPRmageddon. This discussion is part of NEFAC’s First Amendment and the Free Press program. Watch video.
Major Wins for Transparency: How the N.H. Supreme Court Reshaped the Right to Know Law | NEFAC’s Richard Gagliuso and Gregory V. Sullivan discuss two positive decisions issued by the Supreme Court of New Hampshire earlier this month that will make it easier for the public to oversee its law enforcement agencies and hold police officers accountable for their actions. Watch video and read cases.
Local Police Reporting: Scanners, Protests and Pandemics | As part of our First Amendment and Free Press program, Tara O’Neill, breaking news reporter for Hearst Connecticut Media Group, discusses her coverage of the Bridgeport Police Department and the challenges journalists face while trying to report on law enforcement during recent protests and the COVID-19 pandemic. Watch video.
Secrecy in Rhode Island During the COVID-19 Pandemic | A conversation with NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman; John Marion, executive director of Common Cause Rhode Island; and NEFAC’s Tim White, an investigative journalist at WPRI-Providence; about the toll taken on open government during the COVID-19 pandemic through executive orders issued by Gov. Gina Raimondo. Watch video.
The Role of Transparency in Policing the Police | A conversation between NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman and NEFAC’s Dan Barrett, legal director at the ACLU of Connecticut, about how access to law enforcement records can help us better hold police accountable for their actions and prevent future misconduct. Watch video. View all videos and subscribe to our YouTube channel here.
Know Your Rights: Joining a Protest or Covering One as a Journalist | With protests against racism and police brutality occurring throughout the country, NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman spoke with Lia Ernst, a NEFAC board member and senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Vermont, about our constitutional rights during political demonstrations. Watch video. View summary. Share Instagram slideshow.
Sunshine Week 2020 | NEFAC celebrated Sunshine Week with a discussion on open government at Nashua Community College. The program featured Gilles Bissonnette at ACLU of New Hampshire, Mark Doyle of Emergency Services and Communication, Rick Gagliuso of NEFAC and Bernstein Shur, Dean Shalup of The Telegraph, and Nancy West of the New Hampshire Center for Public Interest Journalism.
First Amendment and the Free Press: A Community Conversation Series in Shrewsbury, Mass. | NEFAC launched the series in 2018 to help increase civics education in schools, college classrooms and community centers. Watch a discussion featuring NEFAC’s Jonathan Albano, Anne Brennan of Gatehouse Media, Leah Lamson of the New England High School Journalism Collaborative, and Susan Spencer of the Telegram & Gazette.
When Muskets Defended the Editorial Page | Much has changed in the national discourse since a pro-war rabble two centuries ago. But while legal and conventional structures have been erected to protect a robust free press, the baying mob hasn’t exactly gone away, according to Justin Silverman, executive director of NEFAC, and Rep. Josh Cutler of Duxbury, author of the new book Mobtown Massacre. Listen here.