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Debi Clark Valentine, director of the YMCA Youth and Government Program and David Lang, for the Professional Fire Fighters of NH, share a laugh before the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications First Amendment Event in November in Concord. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

Loeb winner gets N.E. honor

BOSTON - The head of the New Hampshire Fire Fighters association, honored with the Nackey S. Loeb School's First Amendment award last year, will be honored by the New England First Amendment Coalition on Friday.

David Lang, president of the Professional Fire Fighters, will receive the inaugural Citzen's Right to Know Award. Lang's group spent years seeking records from the Local Government Center regarding how insurance premiums were being used. The LGC fought the efforts of the center to prevent public scrutiny, with the New Hampshire Supreme Court ultimately agreeing with the firefighters' position, and the LGC was forced to open its books. Millions of dollars have been refunded as a result.

Also to be honored at the NEFAC luncheon here will be Hartford Courant reporter Don Stacom, who exposed misdeeds in a Connecticut police department, and the lifetime achievements of New England Cable News founder and GlobalPost co-founder Philip Balboni.

"NEFAC's mission goes on year-round," said coalition Executive Director Rosanna Cavanagh. "We have training programs for journalists on FOI (Freedom of Information) and media law, and we advocate for greater access to public records through friend of the court briefs and expert legislative testimony."

Likewise, the Nackey S. Loeb School of Communications Inc., headquartered in Manchester, offers many opportunities for journalists and the general public to expand their knowledge of the First Amendment.

Tickets to the event are available on NEFAC's website,

The awards luncheon is held in conjunction with the New England Newspaper & Press Association's convention and trade show at the Boston Park Plaza Hotel.


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