2015 New England First Amendment Institute Fellowship Application Deadline Extended to Friday

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 | justin@nefac.org

The New England First Amendment Coalition will accept fellowship applications to its fifth annual investigative journalism institute until 5 p.m. on Sept. 11. NEFAC is extending the deadline to accommodate those journalists who had difficulty submitting all application materials due to the holiday weekend. Institute information and application forms can be found here.

Three members of The Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning Spotlight investigative team will provide the keynote presentation at this year’s New England First Amendment Institute. Walter V. Robinson, who led the paper’s investigation into the sexual abuse of children by Catholic priests, will be joined by Sacha Pfeiffer and Mike Rezendes, two of his former Spotlight colleagues crucial to the investigation.

The Globe’s 2002 investigation into Boston’s Catholic archdiocese revealed a pattern of sexual abuse of children by priests and the cover-up of that abuse. The work of Robinson, Pfeiffer, Rezendes and several other reporters and editors at the paper provided the spark to similar investigations throughout the country and a shake-up of the Catholic Church. Their stories won the Pulitzer Prize for Public Service the following year and their work is now the basis of “Spotlight,” a movie starring Michael Keaton, Mark Ruffalo and Rachel McAdams, scheduled for release in November.

NEFAI provides editors and reporters with the support and training necessary to become accomplished investigative journalists, well-versed in the freedom of information laws that govern today’s difficult reporting landscape. Many exceptional, award-winning journalists and First Amendment attorneys volunteer as faculty each year.

Joining this year’s faculty are Jennifer Berry Hawes, a member of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning team at The Post and Courier; Anna Schecter, a Peabody Award winning producer for NBC; Bill Buzenberg, former executive director of the Center for Public Integrity; Carol Marbin Miller, a senior investigative reporter for the Miami Herald and recent winner of the Goldsmith Prize for Investigative Reporting; and Joe Mahr, a 2004 Pulitzer Prize winner now working at the Chicago Tribune.

The institute will be from Oct. 18 to 20 in Dedham, Mass. It’s provided at no cost to 25 journalism fellows.

Topics covered by the institute include state and federal freedom of information law, how to access and use SEC documents, database reporting, Internet and social media research, source development, writing strategies, investigative techniques, and accuracy and responsibility in reporting.

Sponsors and supporters of this year’s institute include The Providence Journal Charitable Fund, the Robertson Foundation, The Boston Globe, the New England Newspaper & Press Association, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Plymouth Rock Foundation, the Stone Family and Sam Adams.


NEFAC was formed in 2006 to advance and protect the Five Freedoms of the First Amendment, including the principle of the public’s right to know. We’re a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society. Our members include lawyers, journalists, historians, academics and private citizens.

Our coalition is funded through contributions made by those who value the First Amendment and who strive to keep government accountable. Donations can be made here. Major Supporters of NEFAC for this year include: The Robertson Foundation, The Providence Journal Charitable Foundation, The Boston Globe and Boston University.