30 Minute Skills: Drone Journalism | Drones are increasingly being used by journalists to capture high-quality images and other types of data to help report important stories. Use of drones is becoming a competitive edge. By viewing this lesson, you will learn (1) the requirements needed to begin using drones in reporting (2) the laws, regulations and ethics governing drone use and (3) additional resources to help your newsroom begin using drones for newsgathering.


Government Surveillance and Freedom of the Press | Grayson Clary at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press explains how targeted, persistent government surveillance can jeopardize First Amendment rights. Clary and his colleagues filed an amicus brief on behalf of NEFAC and other media organizations in a case involving questions of constitutional law that have appellate courts across the country divided. Discussion notes and links.


Rhode Island: 3 Requests 3 Stories | NEFAC provides introductory videos and tutorials on public record laws. This latest round of classes focuses on specific requests that can be made and how they can be turned into stories. Discussing the Rhode Island Access to Public Records Act is Amanda Milkovits, a reporter covering the state for The Boston Globe. View all state public record law and federal Freedom of Information law lessons here.


Accessing Police Body Camera Footage and 911 Calls in Rhode Island | NEFAC’s Edward Fitzpatrick, a reporter at The Boston Globe, appeared on A Lively Experiment to discuss a new police body camera initiative and when footage should be released. Fitzpatrick and other panelists also spoke about the lack of access to 911 calls in the state. The conversation begins at 11:55. Learn more about how NEFAC is helping to keep police accountable.


Federal FOIA: 3 Requests 3 Stories | NEFAC provides introductory videos and tutorials on public record laws. This latest round of classes focuses on specific requests that can be made and how they can be turned into stories. Discussing how to obtain federal public records is Erin Siegal McIntyre, an investigative journalist and professor at the University of North Carolina. View all state public record law and federal Freedom of Information law lessons here.


30 Minute Skills: Verifying Information Online | Finding credible sources is increasingly difficult. We’ve seen how misinformation can impact media consumers, but it can also make a journalist’s job more difficult. By viewing this lesson, you will learn: (1) tech tips to help verify information, including reverse image searching (2) how to identify bots and other fake social media accounts and (3) where to find open-source tools to assist in digital media investigations.


The U.S. Supreme Court: Why More Access and Transparency is Needed | Melissa Wasser, policy counsel at the Project on Government Oversight in Washington, D.C., discusses ways the U.S. Supreme Court should expand public access to its proceedings. POGO, NEFAC and more than 80 other organizations recently called on the court to permanently provide live audio streaming of oral arguments. Discussion notes and links.


Connecticut: 3 Requests 3 Stories | NEFAC provides introductory videos and tutorials on public record laws. This latest round of classes focuses on specific requests that can be made and how they can be turned into stories. Discussing how to obtain Connecticut public records is Jordan Fenster of Hearst Connecticut Media Group. View all state public record law and federal Freedom of Information law lessons here. Learn more about public records in Connecticut.


30 Minute Skills: FERPA and Public Records | What is or is not a FERPA record has become more consequential during the COVID-19 pandemic given the increasing demand for school data. By viewing this lesson, you will learn: (1) more about the history and purpose of FERPA (2) under what circumstances and to what types of educational institutions FERPA applies and (3) how to best respond to public record denials that are incorrectly attributed to FERPA.


An Executive Privilege for New Hampshire’s Governor? | Cassidy Jensen, a reporter at The Concord Monitor, discusses a public records request she and her colleagues made of Gov. Sununu and the unexpected response they received. Jensen breaks down the governor’s claim of “executive privilege” and the consequences such a privilege could have on the public’s right to know about government. Discussion notes and links here. More First Amendment and Free Press programs here.


Vermont: 3 Requests 3 Stories | NEFAC provides introductory videos and tutorials on public record laws. This latest round of classes focuses on specific requests that can be made and how they can be turned into stories. Discussing the Vermont public records law is Liam Elder-Connors of Vermont Public Radio. View all state public record law and federal Freedom of Information law lessons here. Learn more about public records in Vermont by exploring our new multimedia FOI Guide.


Qualified Immunity and the First Amendment Right to Record Police | Gabe Rottman at the Reporters Committee explains the legal principle of “qualified immunity” and a recent effort to have the U.S. Supreme Court declare the First Amendment right to record police as clearly established. Rottman and his colleagues filed an amicus brief on behalf of NEFAC and others arguing that lower courts need more guidance on the issue. Discussion notes and links.


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