NEFAC Announces Journalism Fellows for 2015 New England First Amendment Institute

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce its incoming class of fellows for the 2015 New England First Amendment Institute. This free institute is open each year to 25 New England journalists and provides the support and training necessary to become accomplished investigative reporters, well-versed in the freedom of information laws that govern today’s difficult reporting landscape.

This year’s institute will be from Oct. 18-20 in Dedham, Mass. Three members of The Boston Globe’s 2003 Pulitzer Prize-winning Spotlight investigative team will provide the keynote presentation. 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.

Also joining this year’s faculty are Jennifer Berry Hawes, a member of the 2015 Pulitzer Prize-winning team at The Post and Courier; Cindy Galli, an award-winning investigative producer for ABC News; 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.

“We receive an enormous amount of interest each year,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director. “The selection process is very difficult, but I’m excited to announce this incoming class and I look forward to a very productive institute this month.”

This year’s NEFAI fellows are:


  • Lindsay Boyle | The Day
  • Suzanne Carlson | Hartford Courant
  • Susan Haigh | The Associated Press
  • Esteban Hernandez | New Haven Register
  • Patrick Skahill | WNPR-Connecticut


  • Jordan Bailey | Courier Publications
  • Nate Holst | WMTW-Portland
  • David Sherwood | Maine Center for Public Interest Reporting


  • Samantha Allen | Worcester Telegram & Gazette
  • Jonathan Dame | GateHouse Media
  • Nicole Dungca | The Boston Globe
  • Jenna Fisher | GateHouse Media
  • Allison Manning |
  • Jordan Mayblum | The Wellesley Townsman
  • Jan Ransom | The Boston Globe

New Hampshire

  • Jeremy Blackman | Concord Monitor
  • Megan Doyle | Concord Monitor
  • Rob Wolfe | Valley News

Rhode Island

  • Jennifer Bogdan | The Providence Journal
  • Alex Kuffner | The Providence Journal
  • Steph Machado | WPRI-Providence


  • April Burbank | Burlington Free Press
  • Lola Duffort | Rutland Herald
  • Lesley Engle | Fox44/ABC22
  • Courtney Lamdin | Milton Independent

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.

“Each year, we help our fellows become more enterprising journalists and more effective watchdogs,” Silverman said. “They then share what they learn with their colleagues and help strengthen newsrooms across the region.”

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.