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"Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances." 
First Amendment 
of U.S. Constitution

Learn about our annual First Amendment Institute and how you can become one of 25 journalism fellows

Read about our annual awards for journalists, private citizens and First Amendment advocates

Visit KnowNewEngland.org to learn more about FOI and public records access

We welcome contributions to The NEFAC Report from journalists, lawyers, academics or other advocates of government transparency. If you have something to add to the conversation, please let us know. Your stories, experiences and commentaries have broad appeal and value.
Submissions can be emailed to: [email protected]
Vermont State Police to Continue 
Releasing DUI Breath Test Results

Several Vermont police agencies, including the state police, have reversed themselves and resumed releasing breath test results when drivers are arrested for driving while under the influence of alcohol. The move comes after more than a 12-month effort by the Burlington Free Press for greater transparency concerning the arrests of impaired drivers on Vermont roads. [More] 

NEFAC Announces Journalism Fellows for
New England First Amendment Institute
The New England First Amendment Coalition is pleased to announce its incoming class of fellows for the 2014 New England First Amendment Institute. These journalists - representing print, online, radio and television news organizations - will gather in Dedham, Mass., from Nov. 16-18 to learn the latest investigative reporting techniques. [More]
Vermont Law Prevents Scrutiny of 
Alleged Dept. of Corrections Failures

In the past few months, the Vermont Department of Corrections and its health care contractor have been sued twice for what plaintiffs say were systematic failures in the prison health care system during the last two years. But a state law prevents the release of quarterly audit reports that supposedly took a hard look at the system in question. [More] 

Open Government Groups: Proposed Rules 
Limit Access to RI Island Court Docs

The New England First Amendment Coalition and four other local organizations dedicated to open government have raised concerns that rules proposed by the Rhode Island Judiciary to implement a new electronic filing system for court documents could lead to increased secrecy and limited access to important court records. [More] 

NECIR Co-Founder Bergantino Detained in Russia After 'Illegally' Training Journalists

Joe Bergantino, co-founder of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting, was detained earlier this month by Russian authorities on a suspected visa violation while at a journalism workshop in St. Petersburg. Authorities also detained Randy Covington, director of Newsplex at the University of South Carolina. [More]

   Other New England FOI and First Amendment News