Media for Social Responsibility

"Financial Market to Twitter Revolution" Guest Speakers

Alexa O'BrienAlexa O'Brien
Journalist, Digital Strategist, and Cofounder of Occupy Wall Street

With a background in political philosophy, she began her professional life as a stringer in Phnom Penh, Cambodia for a company that produced segments for the Asian Economic Channel. She went on to light motion picture film and television in the United States and internationally in countries like Haiti. Her work for the United Nations Population Fund 'Worldwide Information Campaign' was shown at The Hague International Forum, and she has lit numerous television shows and segments for CNN, the BBC, Arts & Entertainment, and the History Channel, as well as stills for photographer, Steven Klein, in American Vogue.

Since 2005, Alexa has extramurally covered the evolving nature and aesthetics of digital and interactive content, and the growing economic and technological cross-fertilization between the American media, entertainment, and defense sectors.

As a content strategist and information architect, Alexa has designed and implemented digital content strategy solutions for international governmental organizations including the United Nations Development Program and Fortune 500 global companies.

In February of 2011 with others she helped pushed the edge of social media for the scalable digital organization of civil disobedience and non-violent protest, and her work was key in the traditional and digital organization of the original September 17, 2011 action in 6 American cities to #occupywallstreet.

Since January 2011, she has covered the WikiLeaks release of US State Department Cables, JTF memoranda known as the 'GTMO files', and revolutions across Egypt, Bahrain, Iran, and Yemen, as well as the prosecution of Chelsea [formerly Bradley] Manning and the US investigation into WikiLeaks. She has interviewed a preeminent US foreign policy expert on the Cambodia cables, and published hours of interviews with former GTMO guards, detainees, defense lawyers, and human rights activists, as well as WikiLeaks media partners: Andy Worthington, a GTMO historian and author, and Atanas Tchobanov, the Balkanleaks' spokesman and co-editor of

As a result of her work covering the Global War on Terror; the 2011 revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa; and her extramural activities helping to organize the original occupation of Wall Street in New York and five other American cities on September 17, 2011, the U.S. Government and private security contractors attempted to falsely link her and a campaign finance reform group, which she helped found to Al Qaeda and 'cyber-terrorists'.

She subsequently became party to a lawsuit brought against the Obama administration for Section 1021(b)(2) of the National Defense Authorization Act FY2012 with author Chris Hedges and five other plaintiffs. Section 1021(b)(2) allows for the indefinite detention without trial or charges of anyone, who by mere suspicion alone are deemed by the Executive to be terrorist sympathizers.

Her testimony and submissions were central to U.S. District Judge Katherine Forrest's ruling granting a permanent injunction on Section 1021(b)(2). The 2nd Circuit ruled on the Department of Justice's midnight appeal of Forrest's September 2012 injunction, overturning it, and an application to the Supreme Court is expected to be made by the plaintiffs.

For a year and a half, she has produced the only available pre-trial transcripts of Manning's secret prosecution. She has provided some of only analysis available on his case, a forensically reconstructed appellate exhibit list, witness profiles, and a searchable database of the available court record.

Because of her familiarity with the proceedings and investigative work, she has been able to 'un-redact' a selection of court documents.

She was awarded a generous grant by the Freedom of the Press Foundation for her work covering Manning's trial. Her work was short listed for the 2013 Martha Gellhorn Prize for Journalism.


Bio courtesy of


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