In court

Nearly a dozen Keene State College journalism students attended a court hearing in December 2017, in a right-to-know lawsuit their professor, Marianne Salcetti (second row), brought against the city of Keene on behalf of five students.

The New England First Amendment Coalition today will recognize a Keene State College journalism professor, and a group of her former students, for their work on an assignment that turned into a successful right-to-know lawsuit before the N.H. Supreme Court last year.

Marianne Salcetti and students from her fall 2017 public affairs reporting class will be honored during the 11th annual New England First Amendment Awards, according to a news release from the Westborough, Mass.-based nonprofit.

The lawsuit arose three years ago when student journalists in Salcetti’s class requested records from governmental bodies, including the city of Keene, under New Hampshire’s Right to Know Law. The law says government records are public unless covered by a specific exemption.

The city partially or wholly denied the requests of five students who had asked for records related to restaurant inspections, certain types of criminal investigations and complaints about police officers’ use of force. In 2019, they appealed those denials to the state supreme court, which ruled in their favor on several points last summer.

Sentinel Staff Writer Paul Cuno-Booth contributed to this story.

Jack Rooney can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1404, or jrooney@keenesentinel.com. Follow him on Twitter @RooneyReports.