Objectivity on the part of the media is considered a cornerstone of professional conduct. Basically, it means the media stays neutral when reporting an event. Its components include fairness, disinterestedness, factuality and nonpartisanship.

The principle of objectivity is criticized by advocacy journalists who feel this does a disservice to the public because the goal is not an attempt to find the truth, but instead to cover all sides of an issue. They also point out that objectivity ends up being relative in practice, that even choosing which events to report is an act of partisanship.

There are several common violations of objectivity by the media, including unbalanced reporting, disguising opinions as news, not putting issues in context, selectively omitting certain facts, drawing false conclusions, distorting facts and using misleading definitions.

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