"The “both sides” model of journalism is being exploited by bad actors intent on spreading misinformation and conspiracy theories. “If the weight of the evidence allows you to make a judgment, but instead you go with ‘he said, she said,’ you're behaving recklessly even as you tell yourself you're doing the cautious thing,” as press critic Jay Rosen notes."
Hedging must feel like the safe path for journalists—especially since they wouldn't want to anger Big Dowsing. This is a good example of how baked-in both-sides thinking is. See also.