Jennifer, I wholly agree. The whole section “addressing” the lack of the use of “allegedly” is misleading. The author implies that using the word gives the accused the benefit of the doubt, but that isn’t why reporters actually use the word. They use it so they can report on a story before there is a final verdict with some legal impunity. Not all cases get convictions, even when there is real guilt, “allegedly” and “reportedly” allow the public to know about these incidents without the reporter getting sued for libel.
These words also protect a reporter’s credibility. Even if overwhelming evidence of the accused’s innocence is uncovered, the reporters’ original article is not wrong. At the time of the article, there were reports and allegations of guilt.
This reads as “this is a shameful common practice, but I’m going to be above it in this instance.” It’s a responsible common practice to protect one’s self, one’s publisher, one’s sources, etc. from legal repercussions.