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Margaret Sullivan: Tiptoeing around Trump’s racism is a betrayal of journalistic truth-telling

Long before Donald Trump ran for president, an inside-journalism battle was raging over the ideas of objectivity and balance.

It went like this: Should reporters and editors strive for a kind of neutral even-handedness, long considered the hallmark of responsible journalism?

Or should they declare their biases up front and let news consumers know where they are coming from, an approach seen by some as more useful and honest?

Are journalists going to embrace or abandon their primary job, which is truth-telling?

If they are going to do that job, they must embrace direct language and clear framing of important issues.