CT Journalists to Focus on First Amendment, Press Freedoms

Erica Moser was told, “newspapers are a dying industry,” when she began classes at Northeastern University in Boston in 2011. Since June a higher education and business reporter for the Day of New London, Moser will be back on campus in Boston next month as one of four Journalism Fellows from Connecticut selected to participate in the New England First Amendment Institute, organized by the New England First Amendment Coalition.

This three-day institute is open each year to 25 New England journalists and “provides the support and training necessary to become more accomplished investigative reporters, well versed in the freedom of information laws that govern today’s difficult reporting landscape,” according to NEFAC officials.

NEFAC provides the institute — from Sept. 16-18 this year at Northeastern University — at no cost to those who attend.  Joining Moser and representing Connecticut will be Ben Lambert of the New Haven Register, Barry Lytton of the Stamford Advocate and Skyler Frazer of the New Britain Herald.  It includes workshops and presentations featuring some of the country’s elite investigative reporters, editors and media attorneys.

Ben Lambert, a reporter for the New Haven Register, worked previously for the Torrington Register-Citizen, Mass Live News and the Valley Advocate.  Barry Lytton, a Stamford Advocate reporter since 2016, previously covered New Milford and surrounding towns for the News-Times in Danbury. Skyler Frazer is a government and education reporter for the New Britain Herald.  A Wethersfield native, he joined the paper in 2016.

NEFAC is the region's leading advocate for the First Amendment and the public's right to know. Formed in 2006, the coalition is a broad-based organization of people who believe in the power of an informed democratic society.  Among the 2018 Fellows are four reporters from Maine, eight from Massachusetts, and three from New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Vermont.

Stephanie McCrummen of The Washington Post, who won a Pulitzer Prize this year for investigative reporting, will deliver the keynote address. Joining McCrummen as featured speakers are Terence Smith, a contributing columnist for the Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md., and David Cuillier, an associate professor at the University of Arizona School of Journalism.

Other speakers include Jennifer Bjorhus of the Star Tribune in Minneapolis, Minn.; Michael Kilian of the Burlington Free Press; Cheryl Thompson, a contributing investigative reporter for The Washington Post; Cindy Galli of ABC News; Todd Wallack of The Boston Globe; Mike Beaudet of WCVB-Boston and Northeastern University; and Tim White of WPRI-Providence.

In recent years, attendees from Connecticut have included Susan Haigh of the Associated Press, Stephen Busemeyer, Suzanne Carlson and Mikaela Porter of The Harrtford Courant, Jill Konopka of NBC Connecticut, Kaitlyn Krasselt of the Norwalk Hour, Patrick Skahill of WNPR, Martha Shanahan, Lindsay Boyle and Julia Bergman of the Day, and Estaban Hernandez and Ann Misaro of the New Haven Register.