Calling it “a matter of great urgency,” ACCESS/RI, a group of open government organizations including the New England First Amendment Coalition, has called on R.I. Gov. Daniel McKee to reinstate an executive order that was in effect throughout the COVID pandemic until this past June, allowing for remote meetings of public bodies while requiring livestreaming and remote public participation.
In a Dec. 21 letter sent to the governor, the group pressed for the order as a health and safety measure necessary to ensure meaningful public participation in the political process. [...]
Steven Brown at the ACLU of Rhode Island discusses a request made to Gov. Daniel McKee to reinstate an executive order that would require hybrid/ remote public meetings. A group of open government organizations including NEFAC called it matter of “great urgency.”
The New England First Amendment Coalition is continuing its push for both in-person and remote access requirements for public meetings in Massachusetts.
In a Dec. 20 letter to state legislators — signed by NEFAC and other open government advocates in the state including the ACLU of Massachusetts and the Massachusetts Newspaper Publishers Association — the groups reaffirmed their general support for H.3152/S.2082, An Act to Modernize Participation in Public Meetings. [...]
Reporter Verónica Del Valle describes a recent series on domestic violence, the importance of public records and the challenges of covering tragedies. Verónica spoke to NEFAC as part of its First Amendment and Free Press program which features reporters pulling back the newsroom curtain and explaining how journalism works.
The New England First Amendment Coalition recently joined a group of media organizations to request that a congressional committee investigating the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capital withdraw its subpoena for a photojournalist’s records.
“The events of January 6th were an attack on democracy, and it would be incongruous were a Congressional investigation into 1/6 to itself endanger the independence of the press,” wrote the organizations in a Dec. 22 letter. [...]
“Ultimately, the only version of the bill that matters is the final version,” said Justin Silverman, the executive director of the New England First Amendment Coalition. “And even if there was some opportunity for the public to be a part of the process, to see some of the deliberations and debate over certain amendments, all that matters now is: What is in the final bill? What made the final cut, and what didn’t?” [...]
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