New Hampshire: How Newsrooms Fight Public Record Denials | The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its series on public record laws with new classes on how newsrooms use the appeal process in their respective states. This class features Mark Hayward of the Union Leader who shares how his newsroom appealed a public records request denial and the stories that resulted. All videos can be found on our YouTube channel or in our FOI Guide.
30 Minute Skills: How to Diversify Your Sources | Diversifying your sources can also help strengthen your credibility and improve your overall journalism practices. By viewing this lesson, you will learn (1) how diversifying sources can make journalists more trustworthy arbiters of the news (2) questions that can be asked while newsgathering to help diversify sources and (3) where to find resources to help build new source lists.
Medical Costs in Connecticut: Turning Large Datasets Into Compelling Stories | Mary Katherine Wildeman of Hearst Connecticut Media Group discusses her investigation into hospital pricing. Over the course of six months, Wildeman collected publicly available documents on what hospitals charged their patients, created a database to manage that information, and reported on the inequities she found within Connecticut communities. Discussion links and notes.
New England First Amendment Awards | During its annual ceremony, NEFAC presents the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award, the Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award and the Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award. This year’s honorees include Raney Aronson-Rath, executive producer of FRONTLINE; the Worcester Telegram & Gazette; and Tara Gunnigle, a resident of Webster, N.H. Learn more about this year’s program.
Rhode Island: How Newsrooms Fight Public Record Denials | The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its series on public record laws with new classes on how newsrooms use the appeal process in their respective states. This class features Eli Sherman of WPRI-Providence who shares how his newsroom appealed a public records request denial and the stories that resulted. All videos can be found on our YouTube channel or in our FOI Guide.
What’s the Future of Online Public Meetings in Rhode Island? | When the pandemic began two years ago, our government moved online. Since then we have seen the good and the bad of online public meetings. Transparency advocates and public officials discuss the pros and cons of government by Zoom. This panel discussion is moderated by NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman. View all NEFAC’s 2022 Sunshine Week commentary and programming here.
Keeping the Light On and Holding Government Accountable in New Hampshire | The First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution provides for the “right of the people to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” But what does that mean and how does it work? The New England First Amendment Coalition and the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications celebrated Sunshine Week 2022 with an expert, online panel discussion.
Finding a Common Ground Through Transparency | Marcus Ferro at WBSM in New Bedford interviews NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman about Sunshine Week and why it’s important to demand a more transparent government.
New Hampshire: Public Record Appeals | NEFAC provides introductory videos and tutorials on public record laws. This latest round of classes focuses on the appeals process for denied records requests and strategies on how to get public information. Discussing the New Hampshire Right to Know Law is attorney Gregory V. Sullivan, general counsel to Union Leader Corp. View all state public record law and federal FOIA lessons here or check out our multimedia FOI Guide.
‘Something We Can All Agree On’ | In honor of Sunshine Week, NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman wrote an op/ed about how government transparency can be a unifying principle at a time of increased polarization in the country. “Government transparency is a non-partisan principle that transcends who’s in office or which political party is in control,” Silverman wrote. “Freedom of information or “sunshine” laws open up government and empower people through information.” Read op/ed in The Eagle-Tribune.
Secret Courts in Massachusetts | Anastasia Lennon, a reporter for the New Bedford Light, discusses her attempts to access a criminal court proceeding that’s closed to the public. Secret “show cause” hearings occur throughout the state typically with no notice to the public. Massachusetts is the only state in the country where these types of hearings occur. Anastasia spoke to NEFAC as part of its First Amendment and Free Press program. Discussion notes and links.
30 Minute Skills: Navigating the Court System | Accessing the courts can be an intimidating task. It can often be a challenge to obtain information about hearings, attend proceedings and receive copies of judicial records. By attending our class, you will learn (1) how the court system operates and the levels of public access (2) the gatekeepers of information and where they can be found and (3) strategies and tips for reporters beginning to cover the courts.
Federal Freedom of Information Act: Public Record Appeals | Michael Morisy, co-founder and chief executive of MuckRock, explains your options when denied records under the federal Freedom of Information Act and provides exemption-specific strategies for your appeals. This is the latest round of NEFAC’s public record law video tutorials. View all state public record law and federal FOIA lessons here or check out our multimedia FOI Guide.
Maine Case Highlights Need for Police Transparency | In an op/ed for Central Maine Newspapers, NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman discusses a recent survey of Maine law enforcement agencies involving access to citizen complaints against officers. Silverman describes the concerning results and what steps can be taken in the future to improve police transparency in the state. Read the op/ed and a similar one published in the Bangor Daily News.