NEFAC, Media Groups: More Transparency Needed in N.H. Police Officer ‘Laurie List’ Case | “Permitting Doe to litigate this case pseudonymously will hinder the news media’s ability to fully inform the public about ongoing judicial proceedings of substantial public concern,” argued NEFAC. “Our nation’s long tradition of open courts facilitates accountability for judges and participants in litigation, public trust in the judicial process, and accurate fact-finding.”


Police Questionnaire in Mass. Prompts First Amendment, Open Government Challenges | NEFAC Summer Legal Fellow Lucas Uhl, a second-year student at Boston College Law School, discusses the constitutional and open government conflicts with a questionnaire intending to root out prejudices in Massachusetts police departments. Read Lucas’s article here and learn more about the state’s public records and open meeting laws here.


30 Minute Skills: Microsoft Excel 102 | The first step in database analysis is learning how spreadsheets function and how data can be used to share compelling stories. This is the second of two introductory classes on Microsoft Excel. By viewing this class, you will learn (1) how to create pivot tables from large datasets (2) how to use pivot tables to generate findings for your stories and (3) other basic functions of Excel that can be used to begin database analysis.


Massachusetts ‘Show Cause’ Hearings | NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman speaks to NBC10 Boston about a Pembroke, Mass., police officer who caused a serious car crash just to have the case quietly dismissed behind closed doors. Watch full video here. Learn about secret clerk-magistrate hearings in Massachusetts and why more transparency is needed. Also check out our multimedia FOI Guide to research the laws in your state.


Massachusetts: Introduction to Open Meeting Law | NEFAC is continuing its series on freedom of information laws with new classes on open meetings. This class features attorney Jon Albano, a partner at Morgan Lewis and a member of NEFAC’s Board of Directors. All video tutorials and additional resources can be found in our FOI Guide. Want to learn more about Massachusetts public records and open meeting laws? Start here.


NEFAC: Rhode Island Police Body Camera Policy Must Safeguard First Amendment and Public’s Right to Know | “The use of body-worn cameras can be a benefit to both police officers and the citizens they encounter,” wrote NEFAC. “The transparency they provide can build trust within communities — but there needs to be strong safeguards in place for citizen accessibility and the constitutional rights we all enjoy.” Read full letter here.


30 Minute Skills: Microsoft Excel 101 | The first step in database analysis is learning how spreadsheets function and how data can be used to share compelling stories. This is the first of two introductory classes on Microsoft Excel. By viewing this class, you will learn (1) how to sort and filter data imported into Microsoft Excel (2) how to use the sum, median, percent and whole functions and (3) other basic functions of Excel that can be used to begin database analysis.


Did a Grand Isle County Town violate Vermont’s Open Meeting Law? | NEFAC’s Justin Silverman speaks to Rachel Mann at WCAX about a directive given to the press by a town Select Board member and the open government and First Amendment implications. View full interview here. Want to learn more about Vermont’s public records and open meeting laws? Check out the resources in our multimedia FOI Guide and view our many video tutorials.


Vermont: Introduction to Open Meeting Law | The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its series on freedom of information laws with new classes on open meetings. This class features Lia Ernst, legal director at the ACLU of Vermont. All video tutorials and additional resources can be found on our YouTube channel or in our FOI Guide. Want to learn more about Vermont public records and open meeting laws? Start here.


New Hampshire Humanities Ideas on Tap: Free Speech and Social Media | Do social media companies unfairly censor speech or allow misinformation to flourish? NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman recently joined Anna Brown at Citizens Count, Professor John Greabe at Franklin Pierce School of Law, Professor Meg Mott and NHPR’s Nick Capodice for a conversation about the First Amendment and social media regulation. View the full program here.


The Race for the Future of Transparency in Massachusetts | “While much-needed improvements were made to the public records law in 2016, more change is needed,” NEFAC’s Justin Silverman explained to Dig Boston. “It’s time to consider additional reforms that would give the public more power to enforce the law. The solution may be as simple as giving the supervisor of records authority to sue agencies on behalf of requesters.”


New Hampshire: Introduction to Open Meeting Law | The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its series on freedom of information laws with new classes on open meetings. This class features Gregory V. Sullivan, counsel to Union Leader Corp., who provides an introduction to the state’s open meeting law. All videos can be found on our YouTube channel or in our FOI Guide. Want to learn more about New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law? Start here.


Maine Press Freedom Experts Evaluate Ethics and Legality of Uvalde Surveillance Release | NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman speaks to Terry Stackhouse at WMTW about the Maine Freedom of Access Act and how it applies to school surveillance videos. “You would very likely see law enforcement agencies being hesitant to release this kind of information until they’ve been able to go through it and make sure all their officers acted appropriately,” Silverman said.


Connecticut: Introduction to Open Meeting Law | The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its series on freedom of information laws with new classes on open meetings. This class features Dan Barrett at the ACLU of Connecticut who provides an introduction to the state’s open meeting law. All videos can be found on our YouTube channel or in our FOI Guide. Want to learn more about Connecticut FOIA? Start here.


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