Advocacy journalism is a genre of journalism that intentionally and transparently adopts a biased viewpoint, usually for some social or political purpose. Because it is intended to be factual, it is distinguished from propaganda. It is also distinct from instances of media bias and failures of objectivity in media outlets, which attempt to be or which present themselves as objective or neutral.
Traditionally, advocacy and criticism are restricted to editorial and op-ed pages, which are clearly distinguished in the publication and in the organization's internal structure. News reports are intended to be objective and unbiased. In contrast, advocacy journalists have an opinion about the story they are writing. For example, that political corruption should be punished, that more environmentally friendly practices should be adopted by consumers, or that a government policy will be harmful to business interests and should not be adopted. This may be evident in small ways, such as tone or facial expression, or large ways, such as the selection of facts and opinions presented.
Some advocacy journalists reject that the traditional ideal of objectivity is possible in practice, either generally, or due to the presence of corporate sponsors in advertising. Some feel that the public interest is better served by a diversity of media outlets with a variety of transparent points of view, or that advocacy journalism serves a similar role to muckrakers or whistleblowers.
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