Register Now for New Round of FOI Lessons
The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its freedom of information lessons with new classes on how to obtain police misconduct records.
The lessons build on the information provided in NEFAC’s growing library of public records classes which can be viewed here. They will be taught by local journalists and attorneys who will provide an overview of their respective state’s law and explain how misconduct records can be accessed.
Each class will be moderated by Emily Sweeney, a journalist at The Boston Globe and author of the books “Boston Organized Crime” and “Gangland Boston.” Sweeney currently writes the Blotter Tales column which appears in the Globe every Sunday. In addition to serving on the NEFAC Board of Directors, she’s also president of the New England Society of News Editors.
Liam Elder-Connors is Vermont Public’s public safety reporter, focusing on law enforcement, courts and the prison system. He has reported several special projects, including an investigation into one of the state’s prominent landlords and a series of remembrances of Vermonters killed by COVID-19.
Harrison Stark is a staff attorney at the Vermont ACLU affiliate, where he litigates a range of civil rights and civil liberties matters in state and federal court, including cases addressing free speech, anti-discrimination, border surveillance, and government transparency.
Gilles Bissonnette is the Legal Director at the ACLU of New Hampshire. He has litigated cases on police and government accountability, public records and the First Amendment. Bissonnette has testified before the New Hampshire legislature on more than 100 bills impacting civil liberties.
Paul Cuno-Booth reports on health and equity for New Hampshire Public Radio. He previously worked at The Keene Sentinel, where he covered law enforcement and the courts. He has also written about policing and police misconduct for the Granite State News Collaborative.
Recommended Viewing Prior to Class: (1) Introduction to New Hampshire Public Records (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories (3) New Hampshire Public Record Appeals and (4) How New Hampshire Newsrooms Fight Public Record Denials
Brad Petrishen is a reporter for the Worcester Telegram & Gazette. He has been recognized numerous times by the New England Newspaper & Press Association for his work. He has reported on several regions in the state, including for The MetroWest Daily News in Framingham and the Winchester Star.
Jeffrey Pyle is a First Amendment lawyer at Prince Lobel in Boston. Pyle represents newspapers and broadcasters in public records, court access, and defamation cases, and counsels journalists on how to cover the news while limiting their legal risks.
Recommended Viewing Prior to Class: (1) Introduction to Massachusetts Public Records (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories (3) Massachusetts Public Record Appeals and (4) How Massachusetts Newsrooms Fight Public Record Denials
Judy Meyer is executive editor of the Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal, the Morning Sentinel and six weekly newspapers owned by the Maine Trust for Local News. She serves as a member of the Right to Know Advisory Committee to the Legislature.
Sigmund Schutz represents the news media in First Amendment matters, defamation and privacy, state and federal freedom of information, newsgathering and cyber law. He is a partner at Preti Flaherty, LLP and media law counsel for the Portland Press Herald/Maine Sunday Telegram, Sun Journal, Kennebec Journal, Morning Sentinel and other newspapers and broadcasters.
Dave Altimari is an investigative reporting for CT Mirror. His work focuses on government accountability including financial oversight, abuse of power, corruption, safety monitoring, and compliance with law. Before joining CT Mirror Altimari spent 23 years at the Hartford Courant.
Dan Barrett is the American Civil Liberties Union of Connecticut’s legal director. His interests in the law include anonymous speech, freedom of movement, mass surveillance, and maximizing democratic control of government through open courts and open records.
Recommended Viewing Prior to Class: (1) Introduction to Connecticut Public Records (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories (3) Connecticut Public Record Appeals and (4) How Connecticut Newsrooms Fight Public Record Denials
Steven Brown is executive director of the American Civil Liberties Union of Rhode Island and has served in the role for more than 30 years. He also served as executive director of the Iowa Civil Liberties Union and worked at the Philadelphia chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union.
Tim White is an investigative reporter and managing editor for the CBS affiliate in Providence, R.I. White joined the 12 News team in September 2006 and is the recipient of six New England Emmy Awards, including five for investigative reporting.
Recommended Viewing Prior to Class: (1) Introduction to Rhode Island Public Records (2) 3 Requests 3 Stories (3) Rhode Island Public Record Appeals and (4) How Rhode Island Newsrooms Fight Public Record Denials
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.
NEFAC is supported by the Estate of Gloria Negri. Additional funding is provided by Leadership Circle donors including the Rhode Island Foundation, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters of NEFAC’s work are Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Boston University, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, the Champa Charitable Foundation Fund, Connecticut Public and WBUR-Boston.