30 Minute Skills: Protecting Women Journalists | The Coalition for Women in Journalism identified 716 miscellaneous attacks worldwide on female reporters last year. The first months of 2021 foreshadow another demanding year ahead. By viewing this lesson, you will learn (1) the types of threats currently facing women journalists (2) how to protect yourself from online trolling and (3) how to stay safe at protests and large demonstrations.


Accessing Secret Grand Jury Testimony About the Pentagon Papers | Lin Weeks, a staff attorney at the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, discusses why grand jury testimony is typically secret and why an exception should be made for researchers of the Pentagon Papers. NEFAC and media groups across the country recently argued for access to the records of Boston grand juries charged with investigating the disclosure of the Pentagon Papers nearly 50 years ago.


11th Annual New England First Amendment Awards | NEFAC recently honored Yamiche Alcindor of PBS NewsHour with its 2021 Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Awards. Other honorees include the Bangor Daily News, whistleblower Jeanne Kempthorne and Professor Jeanne Kempthorne and her Keene State College journalism students. Watch the full program and clips of each presentation. Learn more about this year’s awards recipients and our annual ceremony.


Reconsidering Newsworthiness: Balancing the Reputational Harm Caused By Crime Coverage | The Boston Globe and the Bangor Daily News recently launched programs that allow readers to request certain stories be reviewed given the harm they may be causing the individuals involved. Programs such as these are being implemented in newsrooms throughout the country, prompting important questions about news coverage and the role of journalists in communities.


Vermont Public Records: Demanding Transparency From Private Organizations | NEFAC’s Lia Ernst, a senior staff attorney at the ACLU of Vermont, explains why private entities performing essential government services should be subject to the Vermont public records law. Courts throughout the country already apply their state’s respective public records statutes to certain private entities, explained NEFAC and others in an amicus brief drafted by Ernst and her colleagues at the ACLU.


30 Minute Skills: How to Respond to a Subpoena | According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, at least 85 journalists have received subpoenas since 2017. Just this year, Vermont television station WCAX received a subpoena from prosecutors demanding unaired footage from an interview. For an increasing number of New England newsrooms without regular access to attorneys, these legal orders can be intimidating and infringe on their rights.


Local Journalism and Transparency in Massachusetts | NEFAC and the Medfield Insider celebrated Sunshine Week on March 19 with an expert panel discussion about local journalism and the need for transparency in Massachusetts. The program featured Charlie Sennott (moderator) of the GroundTruth Project, Morgan C. Mullings of The Bay State Banner, Kay Lazar at The Boston Globe and NEFAC’s Peter Caruso, a media attorney based in Andover.


Keeping the Light On: Holding Government Accountable | NEFAC celebrated Sunshine Week 2021 with a panel discussion featuring Gilles Bissonnette, Legal Director for the ACLU of New Hampshire; the Hon. N. William Delker, N.H. Superior Court Justice; Casey McDermott (moderator) at New Hampshire Public Radio; Emily Gray Rice, City Solicitor for Manchester; and NEFAC’s Gregory V. Sullivan, an attorney at Malloy & Sullivan.


The National Association of Hispanic Journalists and Challenges Facing Latinos in New England Newsrooms | Karina Cuevas, a producer at Telemundo in Boston, and Kevin Adrade, a freelancer based in Providence, describe their work at NAHJ’s New England chapter and explain the most pressing issues facing Latino journalists in the region. Discussion notes. You can view all our First Amendment and Free Press discussions here.


Reconsidering News Coverage: A Look at The Boston Globe’s Fresh Start Initiative | David Dahl at The Boston Globe discusses the Fresh Start initiative, an attempt to reevaluate the newsworthiness of old stories and weigh the effect those stories have on an individual’s reputation versus the value they serve by remaining online. Watch an edited version of a conversation Dahl had with NEFAC’s Board of Directors. Discussion notes.


30 Minute Skills: Data Cleaning 102 | This lesson is the second of two introductory lessons on cleaning datasets obtained online or through public records requests. By attending this second lesson, you will: (1) Advance your data cleaning skills with OpenRefine (2) Learn how to import dirty data from websites and increase memory in OpenRefine (3) Build your facet and clustering skills (4) Learn how to split and merge data. All 30 Minute Skills classes can be viewed here.


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