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FIRST AMENDMENT
OF U.S. CONSTITUTION 

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.

ABOUT NEFAC 

2016 MAJOR SUPPORTERS
 



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LEARN ABOUT OUR ANNUAL NEW ENGLAND FIRST AMENDMENT INSTITUTE








NEFAC'S ANNUAL 
NEW ENGLAND FIRST AMENDMENT AWARDS









SUNSHINE WEEK 2016










FILE FREE FOI REQUEST



The New England First Amendment Coalition says Margaret Sullivan will be presented with its annual Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award on Feb. 24, 2017. NEFAC says Sullivan was recognized for her past work as public editor at The New York Times and her efforts at the Post to champion access to information, media intimidation and news organizations' roles as truth tellers.

Local Publisher Joins NEFAC Board | Caledonian Record 10.15.16
Joining NEFAC's board of directors are Caledonian Record Publisher Todd Smith, Boston Globe Senior Deputy Managing Editor Jennifer Peter, and University of Connecticut journalism professor and Pulitzer Prize winning investigative journalist Mike Stanton.

Voters Can Now Take Ballot Selfies in New Hampshire | Fortune 9.29.16 Both the New England First Amendment Coalition and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press also filed amicus briefs, saying that "the issue of voter intimidation was overblown in this case," according to the Times. "There isn't much evidence, if any at all, that this kind of activity is actually occurring," Justin Silverman, the executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, told the Times.

'Ballot Selfies' Get Federal Court Blessing | CNN 9.29.16 The Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, the Keene Sentinel and the New England First Amendment Coalition also filed briefs in opposition to the law.

Appeals Court Overturns Ban on Selfies in Voting Booths | The Wall Street Journal 9.28.16 A coalition that included the social media company Snapchat Inc., the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press and the New England First Amendment Coalition filed briefs in support of the New Hampshire voters who sued in 2014 to challenge the ban.

Two other organizations, the New England First Amendment Coalition and the Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press, also filed amicus briefs and said that the issue of voter intimidation was overblown in this case. "There isn't much evidence, if any at all, that this kind of activity is actually occurring," Justin Silverman, the executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, told The Times in April.

Transparency Group Calls For Release Footage (audio) | VPR-Vermont Public Radio 9.21.16 The New England First Amendment Coalition is calling on authorities to release body camera footage of the incident so the public gets an objective view of what happened. Mike Donoghue is the vice president of the organization, and he says police regularly release footage during investigations. "When there's a bank robbery, when there's assaults, when there's store burglaries, they're frequently turning over video that's going to be, quote, 'evidence,'" Donoghue says.

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. Please email submissions to [email protected]



 



 NEFAC REPORT | November 2016
Winter Fundraiser
Celebrate NEFAC's Decade of Advocacy; Support First Amendment, Transparency
The New England First Amendment Coalition, a leading voice in the region for the protection of press freedoms and access to public records, celebrates its 10th anniversary this year. 
Please join us in celebrating this decade of advocacy by making a tax-deductible donation and helping us pursue our vital mission for years to come. We advocate daily on your behalf so you can know more about your government 
and speak freely about things that matter to you. At 10 years old, NEFAis beginning to hit its stride. Help us celebrate. Celebrate what will be - with your help - another 10 years of advocacy for the First Amendment and the public's right to know. [More]

New England First Amendment Awards
Washington Post Columnist Sullivan to Receive Hamblett First Amendment Award
Applications Available for Michael Donoghue Freedom 
of Information, Antonia Orfield Citizenship Awards
Media rights champion Margaret Sullivan, 
Sullivan
the media columnist for the Washington Post, will receive the New England First Amendment Coalition's 2017 Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award, given each year to an individual who has promoted, defended or advocated for the First Amendment throughout his or her career. In four years as public editor at The New York Times, Sullivan successfully fought to strengthen the newspaper's guidelines on the use of anonymous sources and earned praise as the readers' representative and ethical watchdog. Since joining the Washington Post in
May, she has applied consistent scrutiny to issues surrounding access to information, media intimidation and the media's role as truth tellers during the most bizarre presidential election in modern history. [More]



New England First Amendment Awards
February 24, 2017 | 12:30 p.m. to 2 p.m.
Marriott Long Wharf Hotel in Boston

Award Application/Nomination Materials 
Jan. 15, 2017 Deadline

Michael Donoghue 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. [More]


 

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. The candidate should have shown tenacity or bravery in the face of difficulty while obtaining information that the public has a right to know. [More]


FOI Litigation Fund
The following is a message from the National Freedom of Information Coalition. NEFAC is an affiliate of the NFOIC:

Having your FOI request denied may leave no other option than pursuing legal action against the rejecting public agency or official. The National Freedom of Information Coalition offers financial support to litigate open government lawsuits through the Knight FOI Litigation 
FundBacked by a generous grant from the Knight Foundation, the fund helps to defray upfront costs such as filing fees, depositions, court costs and other expenses associated with legal actions. Applications may be submitted through your state FOI coalition or directly to NFOIC. [More]

Other FOI and First Amendment News
       Regional / National

            Trump, First Amendment
            Ballot Selfies
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       Connecticut

            MDC, Public Records
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       Maine
       Massachusetts

            MBTA, Transparency
            AG Public Record Lawsuits
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       Rhode Island       

       Vermont