NEFAC Seeking Applicants for 2016 Freedom of Information Award

CONTACT Justin Silverman | 774.244.2365 |

The New England First Amendment Coalition is seeking applications for its 2016 Freedom of Information Award.

The FOI Award is given each year to a New England journalist or team of journalists for a body of work from the previous calendar year that protects or advances the public’s right to know under federal or state law. Preference is given to applicants who overcome significant official resistance. Application materials can be found here. The deadline for submissions is January 1, 2016.

Previous recipients include:

  • James W. Foley (posthumously) | A seasoned war correspondent, New Hampshire native Foley committed himself to the truth and, in his words, “exposing untold stories.” While working in Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and Syria, Foley reported on the lives of those disadvantaged and suffering.
  • Brent Curtis | A reporter for the Rutland (Vt.) Herald, Curtis fought for access to certain police records and helped make Vermont police departments more transparent.
  • Don Stacom | Stacom of the Hartford Courant pursued stories about police misconduct through the Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission, prompting a shakeup of the New Britain, Conn., police department.

The award will be presented at NEFAC’s annual New England First Amendment Awards luncheon from 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m. on February 19 at the Park Plaza Hotel in Boston, Mass. Also to be presented at the luncheon are the Stephen Hamblett Award and the Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award.

The Hamblett Award, named after the late former publisher of The Providence Journal, is given to an individual who has promoted, defended or advocated for the First Amendment. U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.) will accept the 2016 Hamblett Award. The Orfield Citizenship Award is given to an individual who has fought for information crucial to the public’s understanding of what its government is doing — or not doing — on its behalf. Nomination forms can be found here.

The awards luncheon is part of the New England Newspaper & Press Association‘s winter convention. More information about the luncheon can be found here.


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 Legacy Fund, The Boston Globe and Boston University.