Jeff Zucker, president of CNN, said he was “entirely comfortable” with the network’s coverage.

“We are not investigators. We are journalists, and our role is to report the facts as we know them, which is exactly what we did,” Mr. Zucker said in an email. “A sitting president’s own Justice Department investigated his campaign for collusion with a hostile nation. That’s not enormous because the media says so. That’s enormous because it’s unprecedented.”

Bill Grueskin, a professor at the Columbia School of Journalism, said there seemed to be some confusion about the role of journalists. “Mueller and Barr need to prove beyond a reasonable doubt — do we file charges or don’t we?” he said. “Journalists don’t have that standard.”

In other words, Pulitzer Prize-winning reports of alleged wrongdoing do not need to provide evidence of criminality in order to be factual, newsworthy and relevant to readers.