The issue of hiding behind the skirts of “getting involved” is something I’ve mentioned before. Letting people spout off (and apply spin) without calling them on their claims shouldn’t count as journalism.
The included link, If “he said, she said” journalism is irretrievably lame, what’s better? is well-worth a read, too, so I’m linking it separately. Good list of reporter guidelines, including some that especially apply to science stories, such as
* There is no such thing as 50/50 balance. There is a truth and we work our damndest to get there.
* Sometimes two viewpoints don’t deserve 50/50 treatment.