old typewriter image

Phoenix Articles

These articles are about various topics in journalism, by and sometimes about projects relevant to the Phoenix Foundation.

video camera

10 Elements of a good video activism project

APF Staff

Video activism is the future of political communication and persuasion. It’s the natural outgrowth of investigative journalism and issue campaigns, advocacy journalism and political action… all repackaged and synthesized in moving pictures.

paper pen image

Organizing Your Thoughts for a New Story

APF Staff

Finding new story leads is often not a problem, it's organizing and focusing on the existing leads that you have. Most people know enough unreported and interesting stories to keep them busy if they were to apply themselves to their stories.

recommended book cover

Phoenix Recommended Books on Journalism

APF Staff

The following are great books about the trade and practice of journalism relevant to those wishing to learn about the practice. Journalism happens when inquisitive minds seek out unreported and unspoken facts, revealing hidden truths to the public. These books do an excellent job capturing some of those concepts in stories and anecdotes, illustrating great features of journalism.

Hannah James Costume Image

ACORN: Addressing the 'Selectively Edited' Meme

By: Mary Stone, Phoenix Fellow

When Hannah Giles and James O’Keefe released their ACORN investigation in August 2009, most media coverage reported that the ACORN investigation painted a deceptive picture for the public. Many writers and activists accused O’Keefe and Giles along with Andrew Breitbart, who distributed the footage on BigGovernment.com, of “selectively editing” the evidence they filmed. Several writers stated that Giles and O’Keefe distributed footage from only a few ACORN offices when they actually visited “dozens.” Reporters went on to write that Giles and O’Keefe encountered many ACORN employees who turned the apparent prostitute and pimp away. One claim made against the duo in an attempt to exonerate ACORN employees argued that O’Keefe did not really pose like a pimp as he implied. In the end, these same writers and activists declared that the entire investigation was baseless since no criminal conduct was carried out and no ACORN member prosecuted. After reviewing the footage and the statements made by O’Keefe and Giles about their investigation, it would seem that those defenders of ACORN were selective in their reporting.

Hannah Fox News Image

ACORN Investigation

By: Mary Stone, Phoenix Fellow

In 2009, American Phoenix founder, Hannah Giles, teamed up with political activist James O’Keefe in order to carry out an undercover investigation into the Association of Community Organizations for Reform Now. Disguised as a pimp and a prostitute, O’Keefe and Giles visited ACORN offices in several cities including New York, Baltimore, San Diego, and DC. The team captured footage that revealed ACORN employees offering advice on prostitution, tax evasions, underage sex crimes, and more. It was later discovered that the corrupt activities of ACORN members included voter registration fraud on a large scale. Prior to the release of the video footage, ACORN had received over $53,000,000 from the government. After the investigation conducted by O’Keefe and Giles and after a considerable amount of press from the media, ACORN lost federal funding.