Fast fall from grace as story spread

TWENTY-FOUR hours ago, Samantha Power was the Pulitzer Prize winner who was an unpaid but highly regarded foreign policy adviser to the Barack Obama campaign.

But by yesterday afternoon, Ms Power, once tipped as a high commissioner on war crimes, was dropped from the campaign – a casualty of the fast-moving modern media world.

The Scotsman published an interview with the Harvard professor and, within hours, her remarks had been read around the world, after they were lifted from the newspaper's website.

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The story spread across the globe, and despite an initial apology from Ms Power, Hillary Clinton's supporters in Congress called for her to be fired.

The speed with which it hit the news networks and websites – rapidly making the headlines in the United States – underlines the viral nature of modern technology and how toxic the campaign had become.

Adrian Monck, professor of journalism at City University, London, said: "Basically, ten to 20 years ago politicians had time to sit around the table with their advisers and come up with a communications strategy.

"But now that information can be sent round the world within seconds it is almost impossible to have such a strategy and the whole political team needs to be much more careful.

"What it means is that politicians, rather than their advisers, have to be a lot more careful who they have around them as the advisers themselves are capable of creating a mini-crisis."

The spread of the story is in contrast to the news blackout on Prince Harry's deployment to Afghanistan – a deployment that only came to light after foreign websites leaked the information.