“Objectivity Has Got To Go”: News Leaders Call for the End of Objective Journalism

We previously discussed the movement in journalism schools to get rid of principles of objectivity in journalism. Advocacy journalism is the new touchstone in the media even as polls show that trust in the media is plummeting. Now, former executive editor for The Washington Post Leonard Downie Jr. and former CBS News President Andrew Heyward have released the results of their interviews with over 75 media leaders and concluded that objectivity is now considered reactionary and even harmful. Emilio Garcia-Ruiz, editor-in-chief at the San Francisco Chronicle said it plainly: “Objectivity has got to go.” 

Notably, while Bob Woodward and others have finally admitted that the Russian collusion coverage lacked objectivity and resulted in false reporting, media figures are pushing even harder against objectivity as a core value in journalism.

We have been discussing the rise of advocacy journalism and the rejection of objectivity in journalism schools. Writerseditorscommentators, and academics have embraced rising calls for censorship and speech controls, including President-elect Joe Biden and his key advisers. This movement includes academics rejecting the very concept of objectivity in journalism in favor of open advocacy.

Columbia Journalism Dean and New Yorker writer Steve Coll decried how the First Amendment right to freedom of speech was being “weaponized” to protect disinformation. In an interview with The Stanford Daily, Stanford journalism professor, Ted Glasser, insisted that journalism needed to “free itself from this notion of objectivity to develop a sense of social justice.” He rejected the notion that journalism is based on objectivity and said that he views “journalists as activists because journalism at its best — and indeed history at its best — is all about morality.”  Thus, “Journalists need to be overt and candid advocates for social justice, and it’s hard to do that under the constraints of objectivity.”

Lauren Wolfe, the fired freelance editor for the New York Times, has not only gone public to defend her pro-Biden tweet but published a piece titled I’m a Biased Journalist and I’m Okay With That.” 

Former New York Times writer (and now Howard University Journalism Professor) Nikole Hannah-Jones is a leading voice for advocacy journalism.

Indeed, Hannah-Jones has declared “all journalism is activism.” Her 1619 Project has been challenged as deeply flawed and she has a long record as a journalist of intolerance, controversial positions on rioting, and fostering conspiracy theories. Hannah-Jones would later help lead the effort at the Times to get rid of an editor and apologize for publishing a column from Sen. Tom Cotten as inaccurate and inflammatory.

Polls show trust in the media at an all-time low with less than 20 percent of citizens trusting television or print media. Yet, reporters and academics continue to destroy the core principles that sustain journalism and ultimately the role of a free press in our society. Notably, writers who have been repeatedly charged with false or misleading columns are some of the greatest advocates for dropping objectivity  in journalism.

Now the leaders of media companies are joining this self-destructive movement. They are not speaking of columnists or cable hosts who routinely share opinions. They are speaking of actual journalists, the people who are relied upon to report the news.

Saying that “Objectivity has got to go” is, of course, liberating. You can dispense with the necessities of neutrality and balance. You can cater to your “base” like columnists and opinion writers. Sharing the opposing view is now dismissed as “bothsidesism.” Done. No need to give credence to opposing views. It is a familiar reality for those of us in higher education, which has been increasingly intolerant of opposing or dissenting views.

Downie recounts how news leaders today

“believe that pursuing objectivity can lead to false balance or misleading “bothsidesism” in covering stories about race, the treatment of women, LGBTQ+ rights, income inequality, climate change and many other subjects. And, in today’s diversifying newsrooms, they feel it negates many of their own identities, life experiences and cultural contexts, keeping them from pursuing truth in their work.”

There was a time when all journalists shared a common “identity” as professionals who were able to separate their own bias and values from the reporting of the news.

Now, objectivity is virtually synonymous with prejudice. Kathleen Carroll, former executive editor at the Associated Press declared “It’s objective by whose standard? … That standard seems to be White, educated, and fairly wealthy.”

Outlets like NPR are quickly erasing any lines between journalists and advocates. NPR announced that reporters could participate in activities that advocate for “freedom and dignity of human beings” on social media and in real life.

Downie echoes such views and declares “What we found has convinced us that truth-seeking news media must move beyond whatever ‘objectivity’ once meant to produce more trustworthy news.”

Really? Being less objective will make the news more trustworthy? That does not seem to have worked for years but Downie and others are doubling down like bad gamblers at Vegas.

Indeed, the whole “Let’s Go Brandon” chant is as much a criticism of the media as it is President Biden.

If there is little difference between the mainstream media and alternative media, the public will continue the trend away from the former. MSM has the most to lose from this movement, but, as individual editors, it remains popular to yield to advocates in their ranks. That is what the New York Times did when it threw its own editors under the bus to satisfy the mob.

As media outlets struggle to survive, these media leaders are feverishly sawing at the tree branch upon which they sit.

251 thoughts on ““Objectivity Has Got To Go”: News Leaders Call for the End of Objective Journalism”

  1. It seems to me that we must come up with another name for what they are doing. They should not be considered Journalists and they are not engaged in Journalism.
    They are observers, commentators, opinion chroniclers, not Journalists. Anyone have a good name for their one-sided ‘profession?’

  2. I for one don’t have much of an issue with this. The lefty advocates quickly show who and what they are, so I know not to ever read, watch, listen to, or trust anything they say. Much of their blather is so kooky, one can’t help but wonder if brain damage is contagious or if mass psychosis is the next “public health emergency.”

  3. Mr Coll and Mrs. Lauren are the not so new pushers of this deceit and downward spiral of objective journalists to the new and improved dystopian social justice klansmen of the journalista apocolypse. Decrying free speech is being weaponized to protect misinformation is so orwellian and vacant morally …it’s just insanity. They have no shame, morals or self awareness to be so partisan and virtually a propaganda arm of their predilections !.

  4. Objectivity is bad, journalists need to be advocates, what drivel coming from the clowns in the MSM.

    Conservative view points cannot be allowed, their thoughts are disinformation. At what point was the MSM or the government given the responsibility or right to decide what is disinformation?

    Even Greely and Hearst must be rolling in their graves.

  5. The old press left objectivity for opinions long ago. As mentioned, few people have any trust in what they are being told by the former mainstream media. In fact, many Americans simply believe the opposite of what these opinion outlets tell is. The irony of the concern over disinformation is thick. At least the pretending is over.

  6. The premises that journalists were neutral in years past is downright hilarious. Sure, they gave brief pause to countering views, but always and I do mean always, it came with a slant. Journalist views of past tilted port and were tied to the democrat dock. The rope tie’s anchoring the democrat parties’ views occasionally frayed, but their Socialist ties could never be broken. The democrat party and its members are authoritarian, without peripheral vision, with muddled brains that seem perplexed at the notion of free exchange, and deaf and defiant to any facts or laws not in compliance with their utopian dream. The tyrannical authoritarians should be heedful; Karma can have a horrible bite.

  7. Where is Ben Bradley when you need him [R.I.P.].

    A Document Implicating Powerful People Is Blocked from Public Viewing in Sam Bankman-Fried Criminal Case

    PDF: Case 1:22-cr-00673-LAK Document 53 Filed 01/30/23 Page 1-6


      1. Many major multinational corporations invested their cash reserves in FTX tokens. They are embarrassed. Disclosure could deflate the value of their stock, based on knowing how much they squandered. Microsoft and Amazon are two mentioned.

      2. Crypto Campaign Contributions

        HOW IT WORKS

        The Federal Election Commission (FEC) remains obvious and has left Crypto Campaign Contributions unaddressed.
        [as prescribed under the Federal Election Campaign Act (the Act)]

        A Campaign Donor withdraws Crypto (Bitcoin, Ethereum, Etc.) from their Wallet and sends it to a Campaign Wallet, either Directly or through a Mixer which sends the Coin to the designated Wallet where it is Remitted. At this point it becomes foggy to trace, and the Crypto is ether changed again in a Mixer or Directly Cashed Out. So the exact Amount of a Donation and Whom it was Donated by are not clearly realized.
        [A mixer is Crypto-Coin Type exchange (for example Convert Ethereum to BitCoin or Other Coin]

        Further a Campaign Wallet may ‘Cash Out’ to the Federal Election Campaign Act’s Contribution Limit(s), but retain the remainder of the Crypto Contribution in the Campaign Wallet.

        Hence , Should a ‘Claw Back’ occur the Campaign Recipient may only give back the (the Act’s) limited amount.
        Thus Netting the excess Contribution under the Table. In addition it may also be possible to gain value in the Transaction*.

        *The Exchange Value
        The Crypto may have been Donated at a ‘Low’ Coin Dollar Value, subsequently when asked to Pay Back (Claw Back)
        The Coin Dollar Value may be ‘High’er, thus netting the Recipient a gain on the Payback Transaction.
        Of course this depends on if the Value is redeemed in Dollars or Crypto Coins.

        Another Angle:
        Presuming you have Covert Operations, Crypto or Cash is the preferred payment for Services Rendered.
        Say you have Plumbers [Watergate Plumbers (i.e. Today: Ballot Box Stuffers)] working for your Campaign,
        You may pay them direct via Crypto (and Crypto-Mixering) or Cash Out and Pay them by Hand to cover your tracks.

        The Crypto Coup
        Now we have Politicians that cannot Payback the FTX Crypto Campaign Funds because:
        1. They have already spent the Money,
        2. It was Dirty-Crypto Contributions (SBF & Others and the Candidate) that violated the Campaign Finance Laws,
        3. It implicates them (The Candidate),
        4. And to sum it up, It was part of a Crypto Financed Coup to unseat a sitting President and capture control of Congressional Seats
        (The Democratic Party’s Election Covert-Ops).


        They took the Money alright – The Dirty Deed is Done.
        It’s Crypto Collusion (and a Violation of the Federal Campaign Finance Laws)



        What are the 4 sources of campaign contributions?
        Sources of campaign funding

        Donor characteristics. The money for campaigns for federal office is divided into four broad categories of sources: …
        Federal contribution limits. …
        State and local contribution regulations. …
        Bundling. …
        Advocacy groups/interest groups. …
        “Soft” money/Independent expenditure.



    1. There are connections that you have not made yet. It takes a lot of MONEY off the Books (Campaign Funds) to run these Operations.

      I’ll get straight to the point: There are “Crypto Slush Funds” operated by the Agencies (CIA FBI et.al) across a number of Crypto Exchanges and Mixers. They are used for various Covert-Ops both Foreign and Domestic.
      These connections must be concealed at all costs (The Judge Must Seal All Case Litigation).

      The Point:
      Why would Andrew DeFilippis Atty. join Sullivan & Cromwell ?
      In the Durham probe He was up to his Neck with Perkins Coie [?]

      I’m not knocking the Man, he is well heeled and fit for the Job, and that may be his downfall.
      He’s there to make this thing go away (For Hillary’s Benefit).

      … is the second member of Durham’s team to join a major law firm in New York in recent months. Andrew DeFilippis, a former federal prosecutor in Manhattan who led the Sussmann prosecution, joined Sullivan & Cromwell last year. …

      U.S. prosecutor on Durham probe joins law firm Kasowitz Benson
      By Andrew Goudsward – January 9, 20232:39 PM PST

      The Connections between Crypto Slush Funds and the Government Covert Operations.

      SBF is counting on His relationship with Government Agencies (Deep State if you will) much the same as Jeffrey Epstein though that he had impunity with the same Government Agencies, and Bernie Madoff’s impunity as the Former Chairman of the the S.E.C. .

      SBF was handling Billions in Wallets, Wallets that are designated merely by Number (some associate a Name on an Exchange).
      Anonymity is the beauty of Crypto (Crypto Slush Funds) . The Invisible Pocket Book of the Invisible Hand of the CIA|DHS|FBI & et. al…


      When you go to the County Fair, You bring the Bull with the ‘Biggest Balls’.

      Where Have All the Journalist Gone?

      [P.S.: Hi Bobby]

      1. UPDATE: February 2nd 2023

        This Crypto-Kleptocracy of Our Democracy is just the Tip of the Iceberg.
        Ali Baba (SBF) and the Forty Thieves (The Democrat’s Swamp) are in the Fight
        to ‘Cover-Up’ the trail of Crypto Milk (e.g.: the Watergate Milkmen),
        and now the Judiciary has formally been put on Watch.

        18 States Send a Message to FTX Bankruptcy Judge John Dorsey: We’re Watching You


    2. Updated: February 6th 2023

      And now the Crypto-Milkmen are on ‘The Spot’. [For Crypto Election Campaign Funding that went under the Table]
      The ‘Crypto-Kleptocracy’ now has Political Returns of a different persuasion (Return the Crypto Campaign Money or eventually get Indicted)

      Ref .:
      “Confidential Letters”: FTX Demands Politicians Return Millions In SBF Donations


          By the Deep State [CIA|FBI|DHS|NSA|Etc…] using Crypto, They are Financing/Funding the Black Market,
          because the Funds they inject into the Crypto Market are used for Covert-Ops|Black Market|Off the Books| Anonymous Transactions/Dealings, it increases the Volume of the Market (Trading Floor Volume).

          The concept of the Deep State in control of the Black Market has been long around since the Days of Al Capone. SBF acted with “Impunity” because he had the backing of the Deep State [CIA|FBI|DHS|NSA|Etc…]. The CIA is balls deep in Drugs & Arms Sales (i.e.: Cocaine/Pot/Air America/Covert Arms Sales/etc.) for raising Operational Funds. Crypto has just modernized the Transactions and blurred the lines between Black Market and White Market exchanges. SO the connection of the Illegal Drug & Arms Market (Sales Proceeds) to fund Crypto Purchases (Buy Crypto for more Ops) is a natural fit.

          It’s always been throughout History (The Under World), Now it has been Digitized.
          And don’t fool Yourselves!, the White Market has just as many “Legitimate” Operators acting in nefarious manners as well, the ranks of Bankers & Brokers come to mind.
          SBF is a perfect example, He was ‘Legit’ yesterday, only now he got caught. The FTX Bankruptcy Case will bury the/this Trail but the Operation will continue as Business-as-Usual.



            SBF/FTX’s Bahamian Haven

            In the 1970s Cocaine from Bolivia, Columbia, and Peru was being shipped to the Bahamas [Andros Island Airstrip]
            and way-laid until moving on to the United States. The CIA/DEA have been working there since.
            [Actually as far back as World War II when a German Submarine was spotted off the coast of Jekyll Island Georgia and the Cuban Crisis]

            FTX was Incorporated in Delaware, Has its Computer Internet Servers in Virginia and California. But it’s Head Quarters is in the Bahamas (Just Offshore). The Founder SBF is from Palo Alto California (Stanford Univ.). At least that’s where his “Home” is according to His Bail arrangements.

            As we all have recently experienced since the advent of Covid, Working remote is normal and some find it preferable. So why was it SBF had to be in the Bahamas? If the Head Quarters of FTX needed to be in the Bahamas a Drop Box and Corporate Agent would suffice, as many Company’s do and have done this.

            The idea is strange that you would locate the Head Quarters of a Multi-Billion Dollar Enterprise, Founded by an American in the Bahamas.
            Until you factor in the CIA, Mossad/Unit 8200, and Allied Intelligence Community. It seems this group of the Deep State Community was not comfortable with FTX HQ being on American Soil. So the Bahamian Haven provided a close and quite place to run Business.

            So as the FTX Crypto Cash Cow was spewing out Working Capital for the Clandestine Operations of Covert Ops, Business-as-Usual could continue unabated but under a watchful eyes of the Deep State(s) in a quite corner of the World. Out of Sight and Out of Mind.

            Problem was that SBF’s Family & Co. got greedy. Lack of self-discipline and impunity combined with very very large amounts of Money,
            brought the House of Cards down. Thus taking away ‘this’ Punch Bowl from the Party (Deep State, Democrats & Republicans, Foreign Operatives …)

            Least the Public know, It’s a Bankruptcy with a Mastermind (SBF & Co.) to take the fall, all money Bet on the House will be Lost to the Wind, and Life will go on as Normal. Amazing, Crypto really is that Pot-of-Gold at the End of the Bahamian Rainbow

            Sweet Crypto Dreams my Friends ………


  8. “Virtually every major news organization in America is implicated, including NBC, CBS, ABC, PBS, CNN, MSNBC, The New York Times and the Washington Post. Mother Jones alone did at least 14 stories pegged to the group’s ‘research,’” Taibbi stressed, adding, “Even fact-checking sites like Politifact and Snopes cited Hamilton 68 as a source.”

    But there was a problem — a huge problem: “The Twitter Files expose Hamilton 68 as a sham.”

  9. They are paid whores to Big Pharma, Soros and Gates.

    I am enjoying them getting cancers, strokes and heart attacks because they all took the vax to counter our “Misinformation.”

    I will smile when their kids, spouses and loved ones keep dropping like flies.


    1. @noodles

      I could never, ever take pleasure in the suffering of another, but you aren’t wrong about the rest – there are far too many ‘cardiovascular events’ in otherwise perfectly healthy people often in the prime of life or even *preceding* the prime of life for it to be coincidence. My own brother in law, who is fit and strong as an ox, had a stroke event in 2021 due to the J&J vaccine, never had a health problem in his life prior, and n genetic precedent for such a thing. We are a blind, spoiled, selfish society, and we will be lucky to even see the 22nd century as a populous species, and it will *not* be due to climate change or the fact that we ate nutritious meat, no, it will be due to human hubris and greed, and it isn’t coming from the people the media would like you to believe it is. I thank my lucky stars that I will not be around then. Heaven help today’s young people in the future, partly due to themselves, with all of the straight up lies they are being spoon-fed at an age when they are impressionable, partly due to what the elites are doing to the human race. The term ‘liberal regressive’ coined by Dave Rubin used to fit; I fear we are at the tipping point of actual neanderthal-ism. The next decade will determine a LOT, and make no mistake, the leftist globalist elite are NOT smarter than you, just richer.

      1. Agreed. Nor can I cheer for the suffering of another, but I’m not above giving a healthy dose of indifference, as in, “what’d you expect?” to those finding themselves on the receiving end of their own boorishness.

  10. Their lack of objectivity brought us an attempt to overthrow a sitting President. Even after the lack of objectivity by the MSM has been exposed they double down on their desire to lie to the American people. Now every page of The New York times should be labeled as opinion. The problem is that they will not tell us that it’s there opinion but will instead tell us that it’s news and because it’s news it must be facts. You should just accept the idea that they are the virtuous ones who must be believed. Hubris get thee behind me. Thankfully it is being revealed that pride goeth before a fall.

  11. As a former print and radio journalist (in the 1980’s), as well as a student of history, I have often wondered if a return to “advocacy journalism” as was practiced in the late 1800’s might be in order. And might satisfy the current leftist desire. Back then a local newspaper might have a name like “City Republican” or “City Democrat” and one would know exactly how the editors and writers would slant their coverage. There were certainly socialist and communist papers available then with similar names as well. Perhaps the NY Times would change its name to “NY Leftist Rag” or other appropriate name. Of course, a return to such a system would further the separation of audiences and would add more fuel to confirmation bias.

    1. The NY rotten apple rag gazette would be a great moniker for that leftist swill of bile !. These journalistas are all letting thier bias hang out and attempting to make it the new normal to salve their butthurt from being called the pathetic biased lot they are. Attempting to change their colors mid stream adds nothing to them other than to reinvigorate their gutter stench !.

  12. Multiple thoughts: 1) All of our major institutions have been taken over by activists: teachers, judges, journalists…. 2) Objectivity is unvarnished truth. These journalists aren’t interested in communicating truth. 3) Christians/Conservatives fell for the “tolerance” trick (a form of both-sideism) and now our views will not be tolerated (one-sideism). 4) NPR journalists can advocate their views on social media but the Memphis police officer who posted about traditional marriage can not?

    There is no indication this situation will improve. I mourn the loss of this great nation.

  13. When powerful persons, companies or institutions tell us that what we are reading or listening to is misinformation that only they as self-proclaimed “misinformation experts” can somehow know to be such, it should be our first thought that we are in the grip of their control. To be vigilant, it is important to understand that control of knowledge and information is their power, and for that reason they care very much about what we read and what we hear. But for the sake of maintaining their authority, they otherwise would have no concerns about what we read, hear and thereby learn. Exposing falsehoods may be their pretense, but discrediting opponents and contrasting arguments they don’t wish to have circulated is their reality.

    I doubt Frank Stanton would be pleased with what Messrs. Downie and Heyward of the Stanton Foundation have written in his name. There are those among us who don’t care anything about trusted media, and who are determined to implement their brand of authoritarianism regardless.

    1. Ron A. Hoffman: So true, thanks for good comment.
      I am amused at the increasing and broadening use of the prefix, “alt” as in “alt-right” news, or “alt-media” sources, and, of course, “alternative facts.” The implication is clearly that “alt” is not “equal.” It is instead used to imply sources or facts that are lesser in authority, standing, power, rank, credibility, or truth, and (of course) lesser in viewership/readership. Tsk. Tsk. Don’t rock the boat.

      1. Lin,
        I see and use the term “alt-media” as a point of pride to be of a higher value then MSM.
        Take a look at how well Bari Weiss’s Common Sense, now The Free Press, is doing.

        1. Upstate Farmer: Thanks for pointing out the weakness in my comment. I should have clarified that I was referring to legacy media and MSM itself/themselves invoking the “alt” prefix–not your use.
          I would rewrite the first sentence to read, ” I am amused at the increasing and broadening use, by MSM/legacy media, of the prefix “alt..[t]he implication is clearly that ‘alt’ is not ‘equal.'”
          Maybe we need a term like “alt-MSM” to collectively refer to those RISING sources that you cite -and that MSM fears.

          1. Lin,
            Was not really meant as a critique, just pointing out differing POV.
            “alt-MSM” I like it!
            And fear it they do!

            OT, you in the path of the Arctic blast? For the first time this winter, busted out the cold winter gear today in anticipation for Friday: The High, 0! The low Friday night, -13!

  14. All the news that fit to print.
    -New York Times many years ago.

    All the news that’s fit to itShay.
    -Turley now.

    1. Pietro, I am not sure how far back you go when you say that the NYTimes lived up to its “All the news that’s fit to print”. Walter Duranty’s Pulitzer Prize NYTimes reporting from Russia and Germany extolling Stalin and Hitler was, in your words “itShay”.

  15. Fascism has officially risen again in the 21st century, and this time in America. I do not know how we fight it given the multi-generational nature of our cultural decay. Our modern left might as well be wearing armbands, and I now fully believe that’s something they’d be perfectly ok with. It is really difficult for me to fathom that so many of us are so comfortable and insulated that we keep willingly voting for this. It needs to be said now, every time: you are NOT voting for the party of JFK anymore. Wake *up*, and grow up. For the non-elite, all of this will ABSOLUTELY eventually come to your little bubble, too, and I guarantee you, you are not wealthy enough to dodge it forever. Decide right now whether or not you’d like to be a serf. Sadly, i think many, particularly young people, would be just fine with that. Waiting any day now for scholars to announce that Feudalism wasn’t such a bad idea after all, nay, to even try to convince that it is just human nature. Madness. Complete and utter madness. All we have left is to show them that their $$$ don’t matter.

  16. The media abandoned it ~30-35 years ago. I can still remember the old editor of the town newspaper complaining about how new reporters were “in it for themselves” as he taught our class journalism.

    1. @eli

      Yes, but this is different. Never in history have we had such a calculated and orchestrated front against our Constitutional principles. Those of us with half a brain always took the news with a grain of salt, but now, I cannot think of one single instance of our current administration or the ‘helpers’ they emply ever uttering anything publicly that was strictly, factually true. Not a single time, even if the lies have bee simply by omission (and I wish that were the extent of it. it hasn’t been). If you can, then go ahead and correct me. This is absolutely unprecedented in this country, as far as I can tell, and I am no fool; neither am I a conservative. This is USSR level stuff, and being old enough to watch the 180 degree switch has far passed concerning for me. I am old enough to have learned to ‘duck and cover’ as a child. it is madness. Straight up.

  17. Many people have dropped subscriptions and others simply do not watch TV news. Now, the news consumer has to steam multiple sources of information, sift through that information and make an informed assessment off how much is fact and how much is hot air. How sad!

    1. How true. We used to love reading the newspaper in the morning but we dropped our subscription years ago. It was garbage. We haven’t watched network news in more than a decade. We couldn’t bear listening to the leftist b.s. anymore. Journalism is dead. What we have now with the Washington Post and NTY is Pravda. With people like Donnie and Hayward in our journalism schools, journalism is truly dead and it will never be revived.

  18. The most obvious reason for the abandonment of objectivity (or really the attempt at objectivity) is laziness. Discovering facts can involve hard work, a’ la Matt Taibi’s recent deep-dive into the Twitter files. It is much easier to pick a few heroes (Obama) and villains (Trump) and a few favored narratives (white Christians are evil, black people are noble victims), and interpret all events to butress your prejudices. I am waiting for Trump to be blamed for Climate Change – one existential threat creating another..

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