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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

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]
Public Record Requests, Persistence 
Shed Light on Mass. Treasurer Spending

Last July, at a time when he was in the midst of his heated campaign for governor, Massachusetts State Treasurer Steven Grossman appears to have seriously violated the state's Public Records Law. Responding to a public records request, Grossman claimed that he had no state credit card bills from 2013 to present when, as later found out, he actually did. [More]

Maine Judge Bars Reporting of Court Testimony, NEFAC Denounces Censorship

The New England First Amendment Coalition denounced a recent court order by a Maine District Court judge barring journalists from reporting testimony given by witnesses during a public hearing. The defendant requested that all media coverage of the domestic violence case be restricted. In response, Judge Jeffrey Moskowitz, the deputy chief of the state's district court, dictated to journalists present at the hearing on what they could and could not report. [More]

Retired Judge Nancy Gertner to Receive Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award

An advocate for cameras in the courtroom, and such a proponent of the press that she risked recusal to speak to the media about her cases, retired federal judge Nancy Gertner will receive the New England First Amendment Coalition's 2015 Stephen Hamblett Award. [More]

NEFAC to Honor Slain Journalist Foley 
with 2015 Freedom of Information Award

A seasoned war correspondent, New Hampshire native James 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. His barbaric death last August reminded the nation of the dangers of his craft and the threats against freedom of information. [More]

Deadline Tomorrow for Citizenship Award; Nominate a Local Open Government Hero

The New England First Amendment Coalition is seeking nominations for the 2015 Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award. The award is given to an individual from one of the six New England states who has fought for information crucial to the public's understanding of its community or what its government is doing - or not doing - on its behalf. [More]

  Other New England FOI and First Amendment News