Local journalism and transparency laws are focus of Massachusetts Sunshine Week event

The New England First Amendment Coalition and the Medfield Insider, a local news organization, will host a panel discussion about local journalism and the need for transparency in Massachusetts. The Sunshine Week 2021 event is 5:30 p.m. Eastern Time, Friday, March 19. Panelists include media attorney Peter Caruso, Boston Globe health reporter Kay Lazar, Report…

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Environmentalists Concerned About Enforcement Transparency

The state’s most recent environmental compliance report reads more like a pitch to invest in Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management stock than a document of enforcement actions. And both the report and the agency’s growing lack of transparency has environmentalists concerned. For the three years immediately following Gov. Gina Raimondo’s election, the Department of…

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NEFAC, MFOIC, Maine News Groups Call for Preservation of State House Committee Recordings

The New England First Amendment Coalition expressed concern this week about a proposed policy that would limit access to recordings of the Maine State House Facilities Committee, calling such recordings “an invaluable tool to aid with accuracy and immediacy, and one that is in the public’s great interest.”

The State House Facilities Committee is responsible for, among other things, the management of the capitol grounds and legislative space in the State House. It is currently considering three policies for the recording of its public hearings:

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NEFAC to address FOI fallout from police cameras

As police departments around the country increasingly use body cameras, many questions arise about access to these video records under freedom of information laws and how journalists can use the videos ethically.

On April 8, the New England First Amendment Coalition will conduct a panel discussion on issues related to the use of body cameras at the Making CONNections journalism conference at Southern Connecticut State University in New Haven, Conn.

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NEFAC to host New Hampshire event, publish FOI reports from all New England states

New England First Amendment Coalition will be joining open government advocates for the next seven days to celebrate the 11th annual Sunshine Week. 

This national campaign is an initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of transparency and freedom of information. Participants include news media, civic groups, libraries, non-profits, schools and others interested in the public’s right to know.

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NEFAC Calls for Correctional System Transparency, Reintroduction of Private Prison Information Act

The New England First Amendment Coalition joined 54 civil rights and media organizations today to call for the reintroduction of the proposed federal Private Prison Information Act.

The legislation requires federal prisons managed by private contractors to disclose the same information under the Freedom of Information Act as publicly managed prisons. U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) introduced the legislation last year but it failed to garner enough support to become law.

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