Applications for 10th Annual New England First Amendment Institute Now Available


Exclusive Investigative Reporting Program to Be Offered Online to 25 Journalists; Deadline August 15

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition will be hosting its 10th annual New England First Amendment Institute as a multi-day online program this fall.

The institute is typically offered over three days at Northeastern University in Boston. Due to health concerns related to COVID-19 and the limited ability of many journalists in the region to take extended time off, fellows this year will be attending remotely.

The program will consist of classes taught between Saturday, Sept. 26, and Saturday, Oct. 3. Weekday sessions will be in the morning with multiple sessions held each Saturday.

The format is designed to allow fellows to attend the institute while also being available to meet afternoon newsroom deadlines. Those selected as fellows should be committed to participating in all sessions. A complete schedule will be released soon.

“We are making this year’s institute as convenient as possible for the many journalists in New England who have been working tirelessly during the pandemic and have little free time in between deadlines,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “This year’s format will make it easier for journalists in all six states to hone their craft while still meeting their newsroom obligations.”

Application materials can be obtained here.

NEFAC provides the tuition-free investigative journalism institute each year for 25 working journalists within the region. It includes workshops and presentations featuring some of the country’s most elite investigative reporters, editors and media attorneys. More than 225 journalists from about 100 local news organizations have benefited from the New England First Amendment Institute since it began in 2011.

Speakers and faculty for this year’s institute will be announced later this summer.

Previous speakers and faculty include: Stephanie McCrummen and Scott Higham of The Washington Post; Terence Smith, contributing columnist for the Capital Gazette (Annapolis, Md.); David Cuillier of the University of Arizona School of Journalism; David Barboza of The New York Times; Kathleen Carroll, formerly of the Associated Press; Wesley Lowery, formerly of The Washington Post; The Marshall Project’s Bill Keller, formerly of The New York Times; Pulitzer Prize winners Carol Leonnig of The Washington Post and David Barstow, formerly of The New York Times; ESPN’s Don Van Natta, Jr.; the 2002 Pulitzer Prize-winning Spotlight Team from The Boston Globe; as well as Anna Schecter, a Peabody Award winning producer for NBC; Cindy Galli of ABC News; and Bill Buzenberg, former executive director of the Center for Public Integrity. Among many others.

NEFAI fellows learn the latest investigative and database reporting techniques, state specific public records and open meeting laws, and how to best obtain documents through the federal Freedom of Information Act, among other skills.

This year’s institute is made possible by the generosity of the Academy of New England Journalists.

Other supporters of NEFAC this year include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, Paul and Ann Sagan, The Robertson Foundation, The Boston Globe, Boston University and WBUR-Boston.

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, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, WBUR, Boston University and the Robertson Foundation.