NEFAC to Host Discussion on Latest Legal, Ethical Challenges in New England Newsrooms


CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition will present on Thursday a panel discussion on the latest legal and ethical issues within local newsrooms.

The discussion will begin at 11:30 a.m. at the Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1360 Worcester Street, Natick, Mass. It is part of the New England Newspaper & Press Association‘s fall conference. To attend, please register here.

Speaking on the panel are Peter Caruso, Sr., an Andover-based media attorney; Michael Donoghue, an investigative reporter who spent nearly 40 years at the Burlington Free Press; and Gregory V. Sullivan, legal counsel for the New Hampshire Union Leader. All three are members of NEFAC’s board of directors.

Topics to be discussed include:

  • Can the public and the press videotape the police without fear of arrest?
  • Why are reporters and photographers finding themselves being blocked from coverage at public events?
  • What can we do to help fight this anti-media mood that is manifesting not only in the presidential race, but right around the corner in our hometowns?

Featured speakers are:

Peter J. Caruso, Sr. | Caruso & Caruso

carusoCaruso has represented the media in some of the most high-profile court cases in Massachusetts history since 1977. He has represented print professionals in a vast spectrum of media litigation, including defamation, media and the Internet law, newspaper access, advertising acceptance, news reporting, copyright and publications law. A Massachusetts Bar Fellow and a member of the American Bar Association and its Forum on Communications Law, Caruso has argued cases before the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court, the Massachusetts Appeals Court, and the U.S. Court of Appeals. He has also represented media organizations throughout New England, including the New England Newspaper Association and the New England Press Association, and was media counsel in the Willie Horton, Pam Smart, and Alan Eagleson cases. Caruso has been inducted into the New England Newspaper Hall of Fame.

Michael Donoghue | Burlington Free Press (formerly)

mikedDonoghue is an award-winning news and sports writer. He worked for more than 40 years at the Burlington Free Press and now is a freelancer. He was selected as the 2013 New England Journalist of the Year by the New England Society of News Editors and in 2015 received the Matthew Lyon First Amendment Award. Donoghue has been an adjunct professor of journalism and mass communications at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt. since 1985. Donoghue has served as an officer, including executive director, with the Vermont Press Association since 1979. He is a former board member for the New England Press Association and has served continuously as state chairman of Project Sunshine in Vermont since it was started by the Society of Professional Journalists in 1990. Donoghue is often credited as being a driving force behind the improvement to Vermont’s open government (public records and meetings) legislation. He has made his own successful legal arguments to judges about keeping courtrooms open and not sealing court documents. Donoghue and the Free Press have been honored for his work on a local, state, regional and national level. Donoghue was selected in 2007 as the winner of the Yankee Quill Award, the top lifetime honor for print and electronic journalism in New England. He has been inducted into five Halls of Fame, including as a charter member for the New England Press Association’s Hall of Fame and as a charter member for the Society of Professional Journalists/National Freedom of Information Coalition Hall of Fame. The New England First Amendment Coalition’s annual Freedom of Information Award in New England is named after Donoghue and he was recently elected vice president of the organization.

Gregory V. Sullivan | Malloy & Sullivan

sullivanSullivan has served as general counsel for the Union Leader Corporation for the past 35 years. He also currently serves on the New Hampshire Supreme Court’s Committee on the Judiciary and the Media, as well as the Committee for Public Access to Courts, and is president of the Hingham, Mass.-based media law firm, Malloy & Sullivan. Sullivan has argued before the New Hampshire Supreme Court in several landmark First Amendment and public access cases. He has appeared with media and First Amendment experts on a special media segment for WSBE, Rhode Island’s PBS station. He is also an instructor at the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications in Manchester, N.H. and a faculty member of Suffolk University Law School in Boston, where he teaches First Amendment and media law.


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