Irish journalist, professor and Pulitzer-prize winning author Samantha Power has stepped down as an adviser to Barack Obama over comments she made about his rival Hillary Clinton.
A full-length version of the story can be read here.
I just heard her speak in University College Dublin last night, she is such a talented woman and this is a big loss for the campaign. As a journalist I have huge respect for Ms Power, she has written several fine articles from countries around the world.
Her article about Darfur published in the New Yorker back in 2004 is still one of the finest pieces of journalism I have ever read. (If you haven’t read it already I strongly recommend that you do) Before I read it I was wavering back and forth between Journalism and Music as a career, but after reading if my mind was made up.
All of that aside, there is something else to discuss.
Ms Power apparently made her remarks about Ms Clinton off the record to the Scotsman newspaper. It perhaps wasn’t the smartest move in the world, but nonetheless since when did off the record stop meaning exactly that to reporters? To me off the record is still off the record.
It may be frustrating as hell when a source says something great and you know you can’t do anything with it, but that’s the way the game works. If as journalists we burn sources and print off the record comments people will get scared, hush up and we will never get to the bottom of stories.
The Scotsman may have gotten themselves a story and a whole lot of publicity, but they may well have damaged journalism in the long run.