NEFAC to Host Free Workshop on Right to Know and Privacy Concerns at St. Michael’s College in Vt.


CONTACT Rosanna Cavanagh | 401.331.7209 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition will host a free workshop and discussion on public access to government information and activities on March 27 at St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vermont.

Where’s the Line?
When the Public’s Right to Know
Collides with Privacy Wishes
Free Informational Event and Workshop
March 27, 6:30 p.m.
St. Michael’s College in Colchester, Vt.
Dion Family Student Center, 3rd Floor Conference Hall

“This is a statewide workshop designed for the general public, criminal justice personnel, the media, government officials, educators and students,” NEFAC’s Executive Director Rose Cavanagh said.

Media attorney and NEFAC Board Member Gregory V. Sullivan of Manchester, N.H., will discuss the origins of constitutional and statutory FOI laws, as well as the federal Freedom of Information Act and Vermont’s Right to Know statute.

The event will also feature a panel discussion on the delicate balance between protecting privacy rights and providing the public enough information to hold its government accountable. If time permits, recently proposed FOI legislation in Vermont and its limits on public access to records and meetings will also be addressed. Those speaking on the panel include:


  • T.J. Donovan | Chittenden County State Attorney
  • Jen Morrison | Colchester Police Chief
  • Dan Barrett | ACLU of Vermont and NEFAC Board Member
  • Mike Donoghue | Burlington Free Press and NEFAC Executive Board Member
  • Prof. Traci Griffith | St. Michael’s College


A question-and-answer period will follow the discussion. The event will begin at 6:30 p.m. in the third-floor conference hall of the college’s Dion Family Student Center, located in the center of campus. Registration is not needed and parking is free.

The Vermont Press Association, ACLU of Vermont and the St. Michael’s College Media Studies and Digital Arts program are co-hosting the event. The workshop is one of several ways NEFAC is recognizing Sunshine Week, a national initiative each March to encourage a public dialogue about the crucial role of open government and freedom of information in a democracy.

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, librarians, academics and private citizens. We work in partnership with the Initiative for Investigative Reporting at the Northeastern University School of Journalism.