Registration Now Open
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 | firstname.lastname@example.org
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 will be 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.
March 29 | 12 p.m.
According to the U.S. Press Freedom Tracker, at least 85 journalists have received subpoenas since 2017. Just this year, Vermont television station WCAX received a subpoena from prosecutors demanding unaired footage from an interview. For an increasing number of New England newsrooms without regular access to attorneys, these legal orders can be intimidating and infringe on their rights. By attending this class, 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.
About Your Instructor
MATTHEW B. BYRNE | Matthew B. Byrne is an attorney at Gravel & Shea in Burlington, Vt. He practices in all areas of business litigation and frequently represents clients in complex commercial cases. Before coming to Vermont, Byrne was a partner at Kirkland & Ellis, LLP, a large Chicago law firm. He has appeared in both federal and state courts across the country. Byrne’s practice covers all facets of business litigation, including First Amendment litigation, failed merger litigation, federal securities class actions, derivative suits, federal preemption claims, insurance coverage, contract disputes, trademarks, trade secrets, non-competition, non-solicitation, technology, unfair competition, and personal injury cases. He has tried cases to completion before jurors, courts, and arbitration panels. Byrne has also sought and received emergency relief in a number of different factual contexts and judicial forums.
Recent 30 Minute Skills
Data Cleaning 102 | This lesson is taught by NEFAC’s Maggie Mulvihill. It is the second of two introductory lessons on cleaning datasets obtained online or through public records requests. By completing this lesson, you will: (1) advance your data cleaning skills with OpenRefine (2) learn how to import dirty data from websites and increase memory in OpenRefine (3) build your facet and clustering skills (4) and learn how to split and merge data.
Data Cleaning 101 | The first of two introductory lessons on cleaning datasets obtained online or through public records requests. Instructed by NEFAC’s Maggie Mulvihill, a professor at Boston University. By completing this lesson, you will: (1) understand what data cleaning is and why it’s necessary (2) learn about the free tools available to help clean data and (3) begin building your data cleaning skills.
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. Please make a donation here.
Major Supporters of NEFAC include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Paul and Ann Sagan, The Boston Globe, WBUR, Boston University and the Robertson Foundation.