New England First Amendment Coalition
November 2020

Support New England Journalism, Media Literacy and First Amendment Education

Help Us Meet Our $7,000 Challenge; All Contributions Matched By NEFAC's Board of Directors This Week
Members of our Board of Directors are reaching into their wallets to match the first $7,000 in donations received next week.

That means your $50 donation becomes $100. Your $100 donation becomes $200. And so on. If supporting the First Amendment wasn't incentive enough, become a sustaining member and you'll receive access to our Dec. 14 event with CNN's John King.

This is a special much-needed week-long opportunity to raise money for First Amendment advocacy, education and defense.

Your support is crucial to this work. We're extremely grateful for all your help each year. Please help us reach our $7,000 matching pledge goal. Thank you!
A conversation with NEFAC’s Gregory V. Sullivan, general counsel to Union Leader Corp., about a recent New Hampshire Supreme Court decision that could result in the release of a secret list of police officers with credibility issues.

Additional Coverage

A conversation with Anne Galloway, editor and founder of VTDigger, about her newsroom’s ongoing legal effort to obtain public records related to the state’s EB-5 scandal. Click here to learn about NEFAC’s work in Vermont and the state’s public records law.

Additional Coverage

A conversation featuring NEFAC’s Emily Sweeney, a reporter at The Boston Globe, and Laura Saunders, a professor at Simmons University, about media literacy and how to best vet information found online. The program is presented by Framingham State University and supported by NEFAC’s Featured Speaker Program.
The coalition provided presentations by Emily Sweeney and Jennifer Peter of The Boston Globe on media literacy from a journalist's perspective, and Northeastern University professor Dan Kennedy on the future of journalism. Learn more about the conference here.
Contact us if you would like to schedule a presentation or reserve an expert speaker.
The online presentation will be from 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m. on Dec. 10 and feature local perspectives on offensive speech and constitutional protections.

The event is open to the public. Registration is required.

This discussion is supported by NEFAC’s Featured Speaker Program. Contact us if you would like to schedule a presentation or reserve an expert speaker.
The coalition can work with teachers of all levels — grade school through college graduate programs — to develop presentations addressing civics, journalism, freedom of information laws and other aspects of democracy and the First Amendment.

This month, NEFAC Executive Director Justin Silverman spoke to students at Emerson College in Boston and at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication at Arizona State University.
Contact us to schedule a speaker and discuss your classroom needs.

The following essays were written by NEFAC's Justin Silverman and Gregory V. Sullivan. They originally appeared in F1rst Things F1rst, a publication by the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications. Click here to learn more.
By Gregory V. Sullivan

We the people of the United States enjoy a system of government wherein our three branches, executive, legislative and judicial are intended to provide checks and balances upon the others. Balancing individual freedoms and other societal interests is the work of our government, as laid out in the Constitution.

That system, led by elected representatives and their appointees, cannot endure unless supported by the true fuel of democracy, an informed citizenry. [...]
By Justin Silverman

About 50 years ago a Chicago attorney received a phone call from a man being prevented from demonstrating in a small town northwest of the city. Town officials, the caller said, didn’t like the message they anticipated him sharing and didn’t want him to speak.

Recognizing the clear constitutional interests at stake when government decides which voices should be heard and which ones silenced, the attorney agreed to represent the caller. The case that proceeded would eventually become First Amendment legend, but the principles on which this attorney stood now seem to be forgotten. [...]
Justin Silverman, Executive Director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, said many local boards have held remote meetings since March. The upside is it has made it easier and more convenient for more members of the public to attend meetings.

“The disadvantage is when that technology isn’t used correctly or if officials ignore the technology altogether and still exclude the public from these meetings,” he said. “What we have here is a great opportunity to open these meetings up to a much wider audience and increase participation because citizens can attend them without even leaving their home.”

Silverman said there is still a lot of value in the public meeting face-to-face with local representatives to ask questions. He said the hope of everyone should be to meet in person safely but also to have the technology in place for people to participate remotely, “because now, that is addressing everyone’s needs and making it possible for as many citizens to participate as possible.” [...]

Regional / National

Trump, First Amendment

Right to Protest




Court Records



Police Records

Panhandling, Freedom of Speech


New Hampshire

Rhode Island


Body Cameras