It is better because there is no ambiguity in it. You know immediately what is meant.
Yet you want ambiguity in the example I gave. Again, context context context and then context.
So I would say that although both forms are common in spoken English, in writing one would always be better to use the "has been" version.
I wouldn't say both forms are common in spoken English, though I may be wrong. I think ''it has been ..." is much more common.
As for writing, I still believe that, as you have shown, the best one is the one that best fits the situation.
An exact phrase search of the Guardian produced some surprising results. I'll have to do them again.