NEFAC, Media Groups Urge U.S. Attorney General to Protect First Amendment Rights of Journalists

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |


The New England First Amendment Coalition called on U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland to consider the rights of journalists while investigating police treatment of citizens during recent protests in Louisville and Minneapolis.

“This is an opportunity for the attorney general to protect the free press and to remind police departments throughout the country that journalists must be allowed to do their job,” said Justin Silverman, NEFAC’s executive director.

The U.S. Department of Justice launched investigations last month into the actions of the Louisville and Minneapolis police. NEFAC and 91 media organizations sent a letter to Garland on April 29 emphasizing the need of local and state police to protect newsgathering activities.

“We urge you to make the treatment of the press an essential part of those and any future inquiries the Department may pursue,” wrote the organizations in a letter drafted by the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press. “[W]e are confident the Department can, as it has in the past, help set a standard for reform for law enforcement across the nation in their interactions with the news media.”

NEFAC is the region’s leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public’s right to know about government. Learn more about how NEFAC is protecting the free press and open government in New England.

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