NEFAI 2022 Curriculum

Journalists from a variety of media and all six New England states will gather Oct. 23-25 at Northeastern University in Boston to learn the latest investigative and database reporting techniques and public records access skills. The fellows chosen for this 12th annual New England First Amendment Institute reflect today’s diverse news media and come from daily and weekly newspapers, television and radio stations and online publications. Learn more about NEFAI 2022.


LOCAL FOI WORKSHOPS

Local FOI workshops will be scheduled prior to meeting at Northeastern University of Oct. 23. These workshops will address each state’s respective public records and open meeting laws. Fellows are expected to attend and discuss specific access challenges they are experiencing.

CONNECTICUT
October 3 | 2 p.m. – 4 p.m.
Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission
165 Capitol Avenue, Suite 1100, Hartford

Valicia Harmon | Connecticut FOI Commission
Mike Savino | American Business Media

Required Viewing: (1) Introduction to Public Records (2) Public Record Appeals (3) Introduction to Open Meetings

MAINE
October 11 | 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
Preti Flaherty
45 Memorial Circle, Augusta

Judith Meyer | Sun Media Group
Sigmund Schutz | Preti Flaherty

Required Viewing: (1) Introduction to Public Records (2) Public Record Appeals (3) Introduction to Open Meetings

MASSACHUSETTS
October 11 | 3 p.m. – 5 p.m.
WBUR
890 Commonwealth Avenue, Boston

Peter J. Caruso, Sr. | Caruso & Caruso
Todd Wallack | WBUR-Boston

Required Viewing: (1) Introduction to Public Records (2) Public Record Appeals (3) Introduction to Open Meetings

NEW HAMPSHIRE
October 19 | 12 p.m. – 2 p.m.
Nackey S. Loeb School
749 E. Industrial Park Drive, Manchester

Gilles Bissonnette | ACLU of New Hampshire
Paul Cuno-Booth | Independent Journalist

Required Viewing: (1) Introduction to Public Records (2) Public Record Appeals (3) Introduction to Open Meetings

RHODE ISLAND
October 13 | 4 p.m. – 6 p.m.
Oliverio & Marcaccio
30 Romano Vineyard Way, Suite 109, N. Kingstown

Raymond A. Marcaccio | Oliverio & Marcaccio
Amanda Milkovits | The Boston Globe

Required Viewing: (1) Introduction to Public Records (2) Public Record Appeals (3) Introduction to Open Meetings

VERMONT
October 14 | 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Seven Days
255 So. Champlain Street, Burlington

Lia Ernst | ACLU of Vermont
Courtney Lamdin | Seven Days

Required Viewing: (1) Introduction to Public Records (2) Public Record Appeals (3) Introduction to Open Meetings

INTRODUCTION TO R – PREP SESSION

Fellows will have the option of attending either Basic Database Analysis or Introduction to R during the Institute. Those choosing Introduction to R must attend a 90-minute prep session prior to the Institute.

October 21 | 9 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. | Remote (Contact Justin for Zoom Info)

Maggie Mulvihill | Boston University


OCTOBER 23

Shuttle Schedule
Hotel to Restaurant at 6:45 p.m.; Restaurant to Hotel at 9:30 p.m.

2:00 Registration [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

2:45 – 4:00 Keynote Speaker [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Sewell Chan | The Texas Tribune

Introduction: Karen Bordeleau | Arizona State University

4:00 – 4:15 Break

4:15 – 6:00 Panel: Tales from the Trenches [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Panelists will share their practical experience in investigative work through painstaking interviewing and use of freedom of information laws to unearth corruption and bring truth to light.

Lauren Chooljian | New Hampshire Public Radio
Matt Rocheleau | Hearst Connecticut Media Group
TBA

Moderator: Karen Bordeleau | Arizona State University

7:30 Dinner [Off-Site — TBD]

Dinner will be served at an off-campus restaurant. A shuttle will be provided from the institute hotel to the restaurant at 6:45 p.m. and from the restaurant back to the hotel at 9:30 p.m.


OCTOBER 24

Shuttle Schedule
Hotel to Institute at 7:15 a.m.; Institute to Restaurant at 4:45 p.m.; Restaurant to Hotel at 8:30 p.m.

8:15 – 8:30 Announcements [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

8:30 – 9:30 Common Pitfalls in Accessing Documents Through FOI Requests and How to Respond [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Callie Ferguson | Bangor Daily News
Andrew Ryan | The Boston Globe
Todd Wallack | WBUR-Boston

Moderator: Mike Stanton | University of Connecticut

9:30 – 9:45 Break

9:45 – 11:15 Web Scraping [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Maggie Mulvihill | Boston University

Required Viewing: (1) Web Scraping 101 (2) Web Scraping 102

11:15 – 11:30 Break

11:30 – 1:15 Beat Break-Out Sessions

CLIMATE [Curry Student Center – McLeod 1]

Beth Daley | The Conversation

EDUCATION [Curry Student Center – McLeod 2]

Jacqueline Rabe Thomas | Hearst Connecticut Media Group

Required Viewing: (1) FERPA and Public Records

DEMOCRACY AND ELECTIONS [Curry Student Center – Room 342]

Geoff Foster | Common Cause Massachusetts

HEALTH  [Curry Student Center – Room 344]

Felice Freyer | The Boston Globe

Required Viewing: (1) HIPAA and Public Records

TRAUMA JOURNALISM [Curry Student Center – Room 440]

Jenifer McKim | GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting

Required Viewing: (1) Interviewing Traumatized Sources

Additional Materials: (1) Why Some Journalists Are Centering Trauma-Informed Reporting

12:15 Lunch [Served in Curry Student Center – Room 333]

1:15 – 1:30 Break

1:30 – 3:00 Tips for Staying Out of Legal Trouble [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Gregory V. Sullivan | Malloy & Sullivan

Required Viewing: (1) How to Respond to a Subpoena (2) How to Avoid Libel in Your Reporting (3) How to Balance Newsgathering with Privacy

3:00 – 3:15 Break

3:15 – 4:15 Former Fellows Panel [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Anastasia Lennon | New Bedford Light
Brad Petrishen | Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Tiffany Tan | VTDigger

Moderator: Edward Fitzpatrick | The Boston Globe

5:15 – 8:30 (or later) Dinner and Presentation [Off-Site — TBD]

Dinner will be served at an off-campus restaurant. Shuttles will be provided for those who need transportation from the institute to the restaurant. A shuttle will also be provided from the restaurant to the institute hotel at 8:30 p.m. though you are welcome to stay later.

5:45 – 6:45 Keynote Speaker

Sacha Pfeiffer | NPR

NEFAC’s Shirley Leung, a reporter at The Boston Globe, will be leading a conversation with Sacha about her career, bringing stories to life through audio and how fellows can incorporate different media into their own reporting.

Introductions: Edward Fitzpatrick | The Boston Globe

6:15 Dinner


OCTOBER 25

8:15 – 8:30 Announcements [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

8:30 – 10:00 Panel: Effective Sourcing [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

When your FOI request languishes your reporting continues. Developing sources, relationships, knowing how to evaluate what you get.

Vanessa de la Torre | New England News Collaborative
Cindy Galli | ABC News
Phillip Martin | GBH News Center for Investigative Reporting

Moderator: Maggie Mulvihill | Boston University

10:00 – 10:15 Break

10:15 – 12:15 Database Analysis Break-Out Sessions

Using database technology to analyze publicly available or FOI-request-won data to understand societal, financial, and economic trends is an important tool for the seasoned reporter. 

Suggested Viewing: (1) Data Cleaning 101 (2) Data Cleaning 102 (3) Data Visualization 101

BASIC DATABASE ANALYSIS [Curry Student Center – Room 346]

Brooke Williams | Boston University

Required Viewing: (1) Class Introduction and Database Basics

INTRODUCTION TO R [Curry Student Center – Room 344]

Maggie Mulvihill | Boston University

Required: Attend Introduction to R Prep Session Prior to Institute

12:15 – 1:45 Lunch [Curry Student Center – McLeod Suites]

12:45 Keynote Speaker

Mark Walker | The New York Times, IRE

1:45 – 2:30 Photo/Break [Location TBD]

2:30 – 3:30 Media Break-Out Sessions

CONFRONTATIONAL INTERVIEWS AND TRANSITION TO A/V [Curry Student Center – Room 346]

Tim White | WPRI-Providence

WRITING WORKSHOP AND NARRATIVE FLOW [Curry Student Center – Room 344]

Jeff Howe | Northeastern University

3:30 – 3:45 Concluding Remarks [Curry Student Center – Room 333]

Justin Silverman | New England First Amendment Coalition