Objectivity is definitely an appropriate standard in journalism. Standard being what we, as journalists, should reach for. However, this is hard to do. We all come from different backgrounds with different ethics, so of course we have our personal filters and we give news on what we believe is news.
I am not sure what I would do in a situation where my friend is maligned. I would like to say I would try to reach for a greater moral goal, but I’d have to be faced with that decision in order to make it. A friend is personal. You have a face to what you’re hurting, and that would be the hardest thing. Journalists owe their loyalty to the public. Professional values will hopefully not be too hard to be leveled within that loyalty.