NEFAC to Address Legal Issues, Public Records at Convention; Awards Luncheon Tickets Still Available

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition will present two panel discussions this week addressing legal issues currently facing journalists and explaining how to best obtain public records from local, state and federal agencies.

The two discussions are part of NEFAC’s Featured Speaker Program and will occur during the New England Newspaper & Press Association‘s winter convention on Feb. 23 at the Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel, 606 Congress Street in Boston. Details below.

NEW ENGLAND FIRST AMENDMENT AWARDS February 23, 2018 | 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. | Renaissance Boston Waterfront Hotel

NEFAC will also hosting its annual New England First Amendment Awards luncheon at the convention from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on Feb. 23.

During the luncheon, Jane Mayer of The New Yorker will be honored with the Stephen Hamblett First Amendment AwardTodd Wallack of The Boston Globe will receive the Michael Donoghue Freedom of Information Award; and a group of youth volunteers at the Hyde Square Task Force will receive the Antonia Orfield Citizenship AwardEd Harding of WCVB-Boston is the master of ceremonies.

Sponsors, table hosts and other supporters of the luncheon include WBURWCVBThe Boston GlobeBoston UniversityBoston 25 NewsNortheastern UniversityUniversity of New HampshireRoger Williams UniversityPrince Lobel Tye LLPSaint Michael’s CollegeUniversity of Rhode IslandUniversity of Massachusetts – Amherst and Central Connecticut State University.

Learn more about the program and purchase tickets here.



Libel, Invasion of Privacy and Other Legal Issues
February 23 | 10:30 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Jonathan Albano | NEFAC Board of Directors, Morgan Lewis & Bockius LLP
Robert A. Bertsche | NEFAC Second Vice President, Prince Lobel Tye LLP
Peter J. Caruso, Sr. | NEFAC Board of Directors, Caruso and Caruso LLP


Reporters in the field and editors in the newsrooms (professional and college) need to know the latest court rulings both for print and online. Well-known First Amendment lawyers Jonathan Albano, Robert A. Bertsche and Peter Caruso, along with colleagues from the New England First Amendment Coalition, will discuss a wide range of legal topics and field questions from the audience. Learn how to steer clear of legal issues, protecting yourself on social media and much more.



The Ask: Getting the Public Records You Need
February 23 | 3:45 p.m. to 5 p.m.

Michael Donoghue | NEFAC First Vice President, NENPA Hall of Fame Inductee


Get 30 solid tips in 30 minutes, followed by your questions answered by one of the masters of accountability journalism. This is a fast-paced session on how to obtain records and data from unwilling government offices. The real information you want and need is hidden in file cabinets and computers. Learn how to get those items moved from hiding and onto your front page.


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 the Barr Foundation, The Providence Journal Charitable Legacy Fund, The Robertson Foundation, The Boston Globe, WBUR and Boston University.