Meet NEFAC’s Summer Legal Fellows and First Amendment Interns | Joining the coalition this summer are: Sophia Brown, a rising second-year law student at New England Law | Boston; Lindsey Vickers, a rising second-year law student at the University of Washington School of Law; Claire Kelley, a rising junior at Roger Williams University; and Catharine Li and Tania Sequeira, rising sophomores at the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

NEFAC, R.I. Open Government Groups: LEOBOR Bills ‘Take a Step Backward’ in Transparency | “It is deeply troubling and sadly ironic that, as a result of this provision, a bill designed to promote greater police transparency does the opposite. Unlike LEOBOR, police body worn cameras are a fairly new feature of policing in Rhode Island. Prohibiting the release of a wide swath of video sets a troubling precedent and undermines the very purpose of having the cameras.”

NEFAC Leads First Amendment Discussion with Middle Eastern and African Delegation | “It’s a privilege to meet these diplomats and journalists to share with them how the First Amendment works in this country,” NEFAC President Gregory V. Sullivan said. “Freedom of speech and government transparency is being threatened around the world, including here at home. These programs are a great opportunity for us to learn from one another.”

NEFAC, R.I. Advocates: Guardrails Needed for Long Term Care Coordinating Council Meetings | The council develops state policy concerning all forms of long-term health care for the elderly and adults with chronic disabilities and illnesses. Legislation — recently passed by the House — would allow the council to meet exclusively online. The groups insisted on requirements for full public access to the council’s meetings and continued transparency.

NEFAC to Dartmouth College President: Protect Student Journalism, Ability to Cover Protests | The New England First Amendment Coalition is deeply concerned about reports of two Dartmouth College student journalists being arrested while covering a protest on their campus. The protest is one of many pro-Palestinian demonstrations occurring on college campuses throughout the country in response to the war in Gaza.

Rhode Island: Accessing Police Misconduct Records | Steven Brown at the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island and Tim White at WPRI explain how police misconduct records can be obtained under the state’s Access to Public Records Act and through other sources. Learn more about Rhode Island’s public records law in our FOI Guide. Watch all our previous lessons on public records and federal FOIA, open meetings and court records.

Seeking FOI and Citizenship Award Nominations; Deadline May 15 | The Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award is given each year to a New England journalist or team of journalists for work that protects or advances the public’s right to know under federal or state law. The Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award is given to an individual who has fought for information crucial to the public’s understanding of its community or what its government is doing on its behalf.

30 Minute Skills: Climate Reporting | According to a recent article in Nieman Reports, “everyone is a climate reporter now.” As extreme weather becomes more common, climate-related issues are an increasingly important part of all news coverage. By viewing this lesson, you’ll learn (1) how to report climate change tie-ins across all beats (2) how to best communicate dry energy stories and (3) how to make climate connections clear in everyday weather stories.

NEFAC, N.H. Open Government Advocates Support Recent Public Records Proposal | HB 1002 originally allowed agencies to charge record requesters up to $25 an hour for any time searching, retrieving, duplicating, redacting or otherwise making records available beyond 10 hours. Among other things, the most recent proposal would limit the bill’s impact to “electronic communications” and include a public interest exemption that explicitly includes media requesters.

Connecticut: Accessing Police Misconduct Records | ACLU of Connecticut Legal Director Dan Barrett and CT Mirror reporter Dave Altimari discuss police misconduct records in Connecticut and how they can be obtained under the state’s Freedom of Information Act. Learn more about the Connecticut public records law in our FOI Guide. Watch all our previous lessons on public records and federal FOIA, open meetings and court records.

NEFAC, Mass. Open Government Advocates Call for Permanent Reform with Virtual Access to Public Meetings Set to Expire in One Year | “Hybrid access to public meetings has been transformative for people who previously faced barriers to exclusively in-person meetings — people who are immunocompromised or have a disability, people who have young children or care for disabled or aging family members, people with limited transit options, and more.”

NEFAC: Rhode Island Public Records Bill Includes Overdue, Common Sense Reforms | “The Access to Public Records Act has not been significantly reformed in more than a decade,” NEFAC wrote to the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee. “During that time, there have been many changes in technology and in public sensibilities about transparency needs, particularly those within law enforcement.” Learn more about Rhode Island’s Access to Public Records Act.

Maine: Accessing Police Misconduct Records | Attorney Sigmund Schutz and editor Judy Meyer discuss police misconduct records in Maine and how they can be obtained under the state’s Freedom of Access Act. Learn more about the Maine public records law in our FOI Guide. Watch all our previous lessons on public records and federal FOIA, open meetings and court records. Subscribe to our newsletter to receive new lesson alerts.

30 Minute Skills: Campaign Reporting 102 | This lesson is the second of two that will prepare you for covering political campaigns and show how this coverage can be incorporated into all beats. You’ll learn (1) how to organize your reporting and manage specific coverage objectives (2) how to immediately begin easy campaign stories and (3) how to develop best practices for communicating with candidates. View Campaign Reporting 101 here.