I think you do need to be careful in interpreting what you read and being aware of your own limitations in being able to critically analize particular reports.
I have a no. of higher level academic qualification at postgraduate level so have read my fair share of journals and articles in my time and remember often reading a scientific paper on a particular study that espoused a particular point of view or supported a particular theory and thinking 'wow that's convincing' only to shortly afterwards come across an equally valid and convincing study advocating an opposing point of view or theory etc and being equally convinced. The expression "lies, dam lies and statistics" comes to mind.
I suppose the motivation behind the research or news articles is a factor to be considered.Who stands to gain etc.and why that might make the legitamacy of the information more questionable. If you know the result you want to find it's not difficult to create a study that supports your point of view - it's been done many times.That's not to say there's not lots of unbiased legitmate studies and reports out there - you just need to be cautious in your interpretations.
You can proove something countless times in order to validate a position you may hold but a theory only has to be disprooved once in order to invalidate all previous supporting claims.