NEFAC’s 2015 Annual Review — Help Us Continue to Defend the First Amendment, Public’s Right to Know

Untitled-1From Cosmopolitan:

Justin Silverman, information pills the executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition, agrees with Snapchat. He told the Times that there is little evidence to indicate that vote-buying is “actually occurring,” and that bans on voting booth photography infringe on First Amendment rights.

Plus, is there really much of a difference between taking a voting selfie and wearing an “I Voted” sticker? The reason it’s important to legalize voting booth photography surpasses the right to selfie. Silverman argues. “More importantly, it’s about keeping the system honest, and documenting the election process and quickly identifying flaws that might be on the ballot and being able to share them quickly and easily with other voters.” [Full Story]
Published quotes, nurse articles and personal appearances include:

  • Quoted Source, generic “Snapchat Wants to Make Your Voting Selfies Legal, buy ” Eve Peysers, Cosmopolitan, April 27, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Selfies in the Voting Booth? Snapchat Fights for the Right,” Daniel Victor, The New York Times, April 26, 2016.
  • Op/Ed, Co-Author, “R.I. Court Deals Blow Against Public,” The Providence Journal, April 20, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Coaxing One’s Suicide Protected Speech,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, April 8, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Obama’s Words on the Press Ring Hollow,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, April 2, 2016.
  • Op/Ed, “The Consequences of Withheld Information,” Gatehouse Media, March 17, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Takedown of News Photographer Shameful,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, March 5, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Foxboro Police are Shrouded in Suspicion for Handling of Jones Incident,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. Needs Less Spin, More Transparency,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, Dec. 22, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. House to Debate Scaled-Back Public Records Bill,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Nov. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Among the Worst in US for Public Records Access,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Five Groups Blast Raimondo’s Administration for Lack of Transparency,” GoLocalProv, Oct. 8, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Bill Seeks to Make Police Records at Private Colleges Public,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “From Missouri to Iran, Press Freedom Under Attack,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Aug. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “A Clunker for the Ballot,” Boston Herald, Aug. 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Advocates Criticize Galvin’s Public Records Proposal,” Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune, Aug. 5, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Refuse to Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 5, 2015.
  • Co-Author, “Why the Medical Malpractice Crisis Persists Even When Malpractice Insurance Premiums Fall,” Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “New Bill Promises an Open Records Upgrade in Massachusetts,” LaVita Tuff, Sunlight Foundation, June 3, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Closed Courtroom,” Providence Journal, June 1, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Government Secrecy an Outrage,” Nelson Benton, Salem News, May 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Prosecutors, Defense Object to Closed Hearing in R.I. Sex-Trafficking Case,” Katie Mulvaney, Providence Journal, May 28, 2015.
  • Speaker, Public Hearing on Massachusetts House Bill 2772 and Senate Bill 1676, Acts to Improve Public Records, Boston, May 26, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. AG Will Defend Law Against Lies in Campaign Material,” Stephanie Ebbert, The Boston Globe, May 7, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cameras in Courtrooms,” Audrey Adams, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 27, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Public Records Decisions Questioned,” George Brennan, Cape Cod Times, March 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “In Rhode Island, a Gag Order During Sunshine Week,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, March 19, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Sunshine Week: Open is Best,” Jim Morrison, Newton TAB, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Editorial: Vigilance Required for Open Government,” The Recorder, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “News Outlets Fight to Keep Court Records Open,” Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press, March 16, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Bills Target Barriers to Public Records,” Kyle Clauss, Lowell Sun, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Want to Access Government Info? Chances Are, It’ll Cost You,” Jonathan Van Fleet, Concord Monitor, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legislator Leads Push to Make Domestic Violence Arrest Records Public,” Susan Spencer, Telegram & Gazette, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legal Experts Question FAA’s Move to Ground Gorham Man’s Drone Website,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “West Bridgewater Officials Keeping Police Settlement Payout Secret,” Maria Papadopoulos, The Enterprise, Feb. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “‘Excessive’ Charge for Public Info,” Damien Fisher, The Gardner News, Feb. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police Revise Policy to Allow Filing of Anonymous Requests for Public Records,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 11, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police ID Checks at Barracks Thwart Open-Records Law,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 2, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Freedom for ‘Opinions that We Loathe,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Jan. 25, 2015.
  • Quoted Source,” Eric Holder’s Crackdown on Leaks Chills Free Speech,” Editorial, The Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “An Indelible Life: How Technology Keeps Dredging Up Our Past,” Janice Henderson, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Jan. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Under Fire for Gag Order in Domestic Assault Case, Maine Judge Calls New Hearing,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge’s Gag Order Meets with Media Backlash,” Keith Shortall, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge Draws Flak From First Amendment Advocates After Issuing Gag Order,” Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Citation, “Extortion Through the Public Record: Has the Internet Made Florida’s Sunshine Law Too Bright,” Michael Polatsek, University of Florida, Florida Law Review, Vol. 66, Pgs. 916, 955.
  • Quoted Source, “Raimondo’s About-Face Was the Right Move,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Dec. 11, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Lifting Camera Ban in Federal Courts Long Overdue,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 2014.
  • Panelist, “The Massachusetts Public Records Law: Its Weaknesses and How to Fix Them,” Massachusetts Newspaper Publisher’s Association, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Rules for R.I. Judiciary’s New Electronic Filing System Could Result in Greater Secrecy, Groups Say,” Donita Naylor, Providence Journal, Oct. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Pan Am Railways Loses Lawsuit Against Newsletter Publisher,” David Hench, Portland Press Herald, Oct. 2, 2014.
  • Cited Source, “Governor, Lawmakers Off Limits Under Public Records Law,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Secretary of State Regularly Keeps Government Records Secret,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Sept. 14, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Review Sheds More Light on Jared Remy Case,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Aug. 23, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Future Public Access Could Rest on R.I. Gov’s Son’s Case,” Alex Newman, New England Newspaper & Press Association, July 3, 2014.
  • Citation, “The Mugshot Industry: Freedom of Speech, Rights of Publicity, and the Controversy Sparked by an Unusual Type of Business,” Allen Rostron, 90 Washington University Law Review 1321, 1325, 1333 (2013).
  • Citation, “The Constitutionality of Restricting the Use of Social Media: Flash Mob Protests Warrant First Amendment Protections,” Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 43, Issue 2, Article 8, Pg. 800 (April 19, 2013).
  • Quoted Source, “Defining Who’s a Journalist Gets Murkier as News Platforms Grow,” Irene Muniz, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 4, 2013.
  • Citation, “BART’s Unconstitutional Speech Restriction: Adapting Free Speech Principles to Absolute Wireless Censorship,” Brandon Wiebe, San Francisco School of Law, Law Review, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 197 (2012).
  • Citation, “No Service: Free Speech, the Communications Act, and BART’s Cell Phone Network Shutdown,” Jennifer Spencer, University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, Pg. 779 (2012).
  • Citation, “BART Cell Phone Service Shutdown: Time for a Virtual Forum,” Rachel Lackert, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 64, Issue 3, Article 5, Pg. 580 (May 1, 2012).
  • Author, “Keeping Online Speech Outside the Schoolhouse Gate,” Greenhaven Press, Teens and Privacy, 2011.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 89 with Jeff Jarvis, Dec. 3, 2010.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 77 with Evan Brown and Sheldon Toplitt, Sept. 10, 2010.
  • Quoted Source, “The World is Watching,” Mike Milliard, The Boston Phoenix, Sept. 27, 2010.
  • Guest Speaker on Topic of Public Access to 911 Recordings, Media Law Resource Center, Pre-Publication Review Committee, April 21, 2010.
  • Panelist, “Media and Entrepreneurialism,” Society of Professional Journalists Regional Conference in Syracuse, NY, 2002.
  • Panelist, “Student Journalism and Terrorism,” Syracuse University, 2001.

Published quotes, rx articles and personal appearances include:

  • Quoted Source, “Snapchat Wants to Make Your Voting Selfies Legal,” Eve Peyser, Cosmopolitan, April 27, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Selfies in the Voting Booth? Snapchat Fights for the Right,” Daniel Victor, The New York Times, April 26, 2016.
  • Op/Ed, Co-Author, “R.I. Court Deals Blow Against Public,” The Providence Journal, April 20, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Coaxing One’s Suicide Protected Speech,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, April 8, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Obama’s Words on the Press Ring Hollow,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, April 2, 2016.
  • Op/Ed, “The Consequences of Withheld Information,” Gatehouse Media, March 17, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Takedown of News Photographer Shameful,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, March 5, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “Foxboro Police are Shrouded in Suspicion for Handling of Jones Incident,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Jan. 14, 2016.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. Needs Less Spin, More Transparency,” Ed Fitzpatrick, The Providence Journal, Dec. 22, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. House to Debate Scaled-Back Public Records Bill,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Nov. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Among the Worst in US for Public Records Access,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Nov. 9, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Five Groups Blast Raimondo’s Administration for Lack of Transparency,” GoLocalProv, Oct. 8, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Bill Seeks to Make Police Records at Private Colleges Public,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, Sept. 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “From Missouri to Iran, Press Freedom Under Attack,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Aug. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “A Clunker for the Ballot,” Boston Herald, Aug. 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Advocates Criticize Galvin’s Public Records Proposal,” Christian M. Wade, Eagle-Tribune, Aug. 5, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 10, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cambridge Police Refuse to Release Use of Force Policy,” Shawn Musgrave, The Boston Globe, June 5, 2015.
  • Co-Author, “Why the Medical Malpractice Crisis Persists Even When Malpractice Insurance Premiums Fall,” Case Western Reserve University School of Law, Health Matrix: Journal of Law-Medicine, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “New Bill Promises an Open Records Upgrade in Massachusetts,” LaVita Tuff, Sunlight Foundation, June 3, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Closed Courtroom,” Providence Journal, June 1, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Government Secrecy an Outrage,” Nelson Benton, Salem News, May 28, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Prosecutors, Defense Object to Closed Hearing in R.I. Sex-Trafficking Case,” Katie Mulvaney, Providence Journal, May 28, 2015.
  • Speaker, Public Hearing on Massachusetts House Bill 2772 and Senate Bill 1676, Acts to Improve Public Records, Boston, May 26, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. AG Will Defend Law Against Lies in Campaign Material,” Stephanie Ebbert, The Boston Globe, May 7, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Cameras in Courtrooms,” Audrey Adams, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 27, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Public Records Decisions Questioned,” George Brennan, Cape Cod Times, March 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “In Rhode Island, a Gag Order During Sunshine Week,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, March 19, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Sunshine Week: Open is Best,” Jim Morrison, Newton TAB, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Editorial: Vigilance Required for Open Government,” The Recorder, March 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “News Outlets Fight to Keep Court Records Open,” Philip Marcelo, The Associated Press, March 16, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Mass. Bills Target Barriers to Public Records,” Kyle Clauss, Lowell Sun, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Want to Access Government Info? Chances Are, It’ll Cost You,” Jonathan Van Fleet, Concord Monitor, March 15, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legislator Leads Push to Make Domestic Violence Arrest Records Public,” Susan Spencer, Telegram & Gazette, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Legal Experts Question FAA’s Move to Ground Gorham Man’s Drone Website,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, March 14, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “West Bridgewater Officials Keeping Police Settlement Payout Secret,” Maria Papadopoulos, The Enterprise, Feb. 13, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “‘Excessive’ Charge for Public Info,” Damien Fisher, The Gardner News, Feb. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police Revise Policy to Allow Filing of Anonymous Requests for Public Records,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 11, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “R.I. State Police ID Checks at Barracks Thwart Open-Records Law,” Amanda Milkovits, Providence Journal, Feb. 2, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Freedom for ‘Opinions that We Loathe,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Jan. 25, 2015.
  • Quoted Source,” Eric Holder’s Crackdown on Leaks Chills Free Speech,” Editorial, The Boston Globe, Jan. 21, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “An Indelible Life: How Technology Keeps Dredging Up Our Past,” Janice Henderson, Foster’s Daily Democrat, Jan. 18, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Under Fire for Gag Order in Domestic Assault Case, Maine Judge Calls New Hearing,” Scott Dolan, Portland Press Herald, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge’s Gag Order Meets with Media Backlash,” Keith Shortall, Maine Public Broadcasting Network, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Quoted Source, “Maine Judge Draws Flak From First Amendment Advocates After Issuing Gag Order,” Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News, Jan. 6, 2015.
  • Citation, “Extortion Through the Public Record: Has the Internet Made Florida’s Sunshine Law Too Bright,” Michael Polatsek, University of Florida, Florida Law Review, Vol. 66, Pgs. 916, 955.
  • Quoted Source, “Raimondo’s About-Face Was the Right Move,” Edward Fitzpatrick, Providence Journal, Dec. 11, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Lifting Camera Ban in Federal Courts Long Overdue,” Bob McGovern, Boston Herald, Dec. 5, 2014.
  • Panelist, “The Massachusetts Public Records Law: Its Weaknesses and How to Fix Them,” Massachusetts Newspaper Publisher’s Association, Dec. 4, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Rules for R.I. Judiciary’s New Electronic Filing System Could Result in Greater Secrecy, Groups Say,” Donita Naylor, Providence Journal, Oct. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Pan Am Railways Loses Lawsuit Against Newsletter Publisher,” David Hench, Portland Press Herald, Oct. 2, 2014.
  • Cited Source, “Governor, Lawmakers Off Limits Under Public Records Law,” Paul Egan, Detroit Free Press, Sept. 21, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Secretary of State Regularly Keeps Government Records Secret,” Todd Wallack, The Boston Globe, Sept. 14, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Review Sheds More Light on Jared Remy Case,” Maria Cramer, The Boston Globe, Aug. 23, 2014.
  • Quoted Source, “Future Public Access Could Rest on R.I. Gov’s Son’s Case,” Alex Newman, New England Newspaper & Press Association, July 3, 2014.
  • Citation, “The Mugshot Industry: Freedom of Speech, Rights of Publicity, and the Controversy Sparked by an Unusual Type of Business,” Allen Rostron, 90 Washington University Law Review 1321, 1325, 1333 (2013).
  • Citation, “The Constitutionality of Restricting the Use of Social Media: Flash Mob Protests Warrant First Amendment Protections,” Michael J. Fitzpatrick, Seton Hall Law Review, Vol. 43, Issue 2, Article 8, Pg. 800 (April 19, 2013).
  • Quoted Source, “Defining Who’s a Journalist Gets Murkier as News Platforms Grow,” Irene Muniz, New England Newspaper & Press Association, April 4, 2013.
  • Citation, “BART’s Unconstitutional Speech Restriction: Adapting Free Speech Principles to Absolute Wireless Censorship,” Brandon Wiebe, San Francisco School of Law, Law Review, Vol. 47, Issue 1, Pg. 197 (2012).
  • Citation, “No Service: Free Speech, the Communications Act, and BART’s Cell Phone Network Shutdown,” Jennifer Spencer, University of California at Berkeley School of Law, Technology Law Journal, Vol. 27, Pg. 779 (2012).
  • Citation, “BART Cell Phone Service Shutdown: Time for a Virtual Forum,” Rachel Lackert, Indiana University Maurer School of Law, Federal Communications Law Journal, Vol. 64, Issue 3, Article 5, Pg. 580 (May 1, 2012).
  • Author, “Keeping Online Speech Outside the Schoolhouse Gate,” Greenhaven Press, Teens and Privacy, 2011.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 89 with Jeff Jarvis, Dec. 3, 2010.
  • Panelist, “The Week in Law,” hosted by Denise Howell. Episode 77 with Evan Brown and Sheldon Toplitt, Sept. 10, 2010.
  • Quoted Source, “The World is Watching,” Mike Milliard, The Boston Phoenix, Sept. 27, 2010.
  • Guest Speaker on Topic of Public Access to 911 Recordings, Media Law Resource Center, Pre-Publication Review Committee, April 21, 2010.
  • Panelist, “Media and Entrepreneurialism,” Society of Professional Journalists Regional Conference in Syracuse, NY, 2002.
  • Panelist, “Student Journalism and Terrorism,” Syracuse University, 2001.

2015annualreviewBelow is a letter I wrote on behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition. Our organization released today its first annual review. It provides a short summary of all our work in 2015. Please give it a read and consider making a contribution to NEFAC. Your support is vital to the work we do. You can make a donation here

Public access has a face. It’s the face of ordinary citizens trying to understand their government in order to make an informed decision or to expose a wrong.

Boston resident Michael A. Champa shared these words in February after receiving NEFAC’s 2016 Antonia Orfield Citizenship Award. Champa recently prevailed in a public records case that he fought all the way up to the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. That fight for information, viagra buy he said, approved is “a discovery process, often dearly earned and grounded in a basic American right to unfettered access to their government.”

Across New England, that right is challenged every day. But with your help, NEFAC is defending the public’s right to know and advocating for the First Amendment freedoms of every New Englander. Here’s just a small sample of what NEFAC is doing for you:

Leading journalism trainings and panel discussions on freedom of information concerns. Every fall, we provide a three-day investigative journalism institute for 25 New England reporters, at no cost to those journalists. Our board members have spoken at recent conferences in Boston, Hartford (Conn.) and Manchester (N.H.) among other cities. When we’re not discussing ways to be better journalists, we’re debating topics such as police body camera policies and right-to-know laws in all six New England states.

Arguing in defense of the First Amendment and the public’s right to know. Since the beginning of 2015, we have written and filed several amicus briefs in important First Amendment cases and joined many more in support of other written legal briefs. We’re making sure that your voice is heard. NEFAC is protecting your interests in court cases throughout the region.

Recognizing First Amendment heroes in New England. At our annual New England First Amendment Awards luncheon this year, we recognized Champa for his public records victory, honored Jenifer McKim of the New England Center for Investigative Reporting with our Freedom of Information Award and presented U.S. Sen. Patrick Leahy of Vermont with our Stephen Hamblett First Amendment Award. Whether by a private citizen, journalist or senior senator, the work being done on behalf of the public’s right to know is pure inspiration.

That’s just a sampling of our coalition’s work. Here is our 2015 Annual Review, a short summary of the many ways NEFAC worked on your behalf last year and the many individuals, foundations, businesses and groups who helped make it all happen. Please take a few moments to read about our coalition’s work and join our growing list of supporters. If you have donated in the past, we hope you’ll do so again. Your financial support is vital to the work we do.

Please make a donation today and ask your employer if they will match your generosity.

On behalf of the New England First Amendment Coalition, thank you for helping us advocate for the First Amendment and put a face on public access. These are rights that need defending.