The New England First Amendment Coalition recently launched a monthly educational series featuring short, practical lessons on journalism and the First Amendment.

The goal of the program — called “30 Minute Skills” — is to provide reporters and other citizens knowledge they can use immediately in newsgathering, data collection, storytelling and other areas of journalism and First Amendment law.

The lessons are provided in a 30-minute format to accommodate the demanding schedules faced by many working in New England newsrooms.

The program is free and open to the public. Registration for each lesson is required.


UPCOMING CLASSES

How to Respond to a HIPAA Denial | June 16 | 12 p.m. EST | Registration Now Open
How to Practice Self-Care as a Journalist | Sept. 21 | 12 p.m. EST | Registration Open Soon


PREVIOUS CLASSES

Data Cleaning 101

Instructor: Maggie Mulvihill | NEFAC, Boston University

This lesson is an introduction to cleaning datasets obtained online or through public records requests. By completing this lesson, you will:

• Understand what data cleaning is and why it is necessary.
• Learn about free tools available to help clean data.
• Begin building your data cleaning skills.

Data Cleaning 102

Instructor: Maggie Mulvihill | NEFAC, Boston University

This is the second of two introductory lessons on cleaning datasets obtained online or through public records requests. Before attending this class, it’s recommended that you first view Data Cleaning 101. By completing this lesson, you will:

• Advance your data cleaning skills with OpenRefine.
• Learn how to import dirty data from websites and increase memory in OpenRefine.
• Build your facet and clustering skills.
• Learn how to split and merge data.

How to Respond to a Subpoena

Instructor: Matt Byrne | Gravel & Shea

According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, at least 85 journalists have received subpoenas since 2017. These legal orders can be intimidating and infringe on your rights as a journalists. By completing this lesson, you will learn about:

• The history of subpoenas and their legal authority.
• Arguments and strategies that can be made in response to a subpoena.
• How to advocate for yourself and newsroom when in court.

How to Protect Women Journalists

Instructor: Karin Nazish | Coalition for Women in Journalism

With newsrooms often lacking effective support systems, women journalists are regularly belittled, have their professionalism questioned and endure mistreatment strictly based on their gender. By attending this class, you will learn about:

• The types of threats currently facing women journalists.
• How to protect yourself from online trolling.
• How to stay safe at protests and large demonstrations.

Data Visualization 101

Instructor: Eli Sherman | WPRI-12 Providence

While there are encouraging signs that COVID-19 in New England is becoming less severe, telling stories using data will continue to be an important skill for journalists covering any beat. By attending this class, you will learn about:

• How to find and obtain reliable COVID-19 data.
• How to create simple data visualizations using free online tools.
• How to identify story ideas from that data.