Rhode Island Open Meeting Law: How Newsrooms Respond to Executive Session Secrecy

Jan. 27, 2023 | 3:45 p.m. ET

The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its series on state open meeting laws with a new class on executive sessions.

This class features NEFAC’s Tim White, an investigative journalist for WPRI in Providence. White will share a story about a government agency holding an executive session, a secret meeting allowed only under certain circumstances. White will discuss how he and his colleagues responded to this meeting and continued their reporting.

This class is provided by NEFAC with support from the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, SPJ New England, the Rhode Island Foundation, MuckRock and the New England Society of News Editors.

Previous lessons can be viewed on NEFAC’s YouTube channel or through its new multimedia FOI Guide.

Registration is free and open to all members of the public.

About Your Instructor

Tim White is an investigative reporter for Target 12. He joined the 12 News team in September 2006. White is the recipient of five New England Emmy Awards for investigative reporting. He was honored for a 2010 series of stories probing government waste in Rhode Island. He won his second Emmy for 2012 coverage of Providence’s troubled pension system. A 2014 probe into a lack of accountability at a local fire district led to his third Emmy honor. A 2016 investigation that raised questions as to where a powerful state representative actually lived resulted in the politician’s indictment and was White’s fourth Emmy win. White’s documentary “The Mafia Tapes,” on the 30th anniversary of an infamous 1989 mob induction ceremony, was the recipient of two Regional 2020 Edward R. Murrow Awards.

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.

Leadership Circle donors include Hearst Connecticut Media Group, The Boston Globe, Paul and Ann Sagan, and the Robertson Foundation. Major Supporters include Boston University, WBUR-Boston, the Academy of New England Journalists, the Society of Professional Journalists Foundation, Genie Gannett for the First Amendment Museum, Linda Pizzuti Henry, Connecticut Public and GBH-Boston.