Often a press release is used as a starting point for a reporter to contact the sender and expand upon the original message, but sometimes the message is just shared with the public, as is.
Here at the Indy, we'll only reprint a press release wholesale if it's on our online blog, IndyBlog, and then it's placed in what we call block quotes (in a box, with a gray screen) to denote no original reporting was done. This tactic, minus any clue that the "article" in question wasn't pure shilling, was often used in the Gazette's fabulous source of citizen journalism Fresh Ink — which recently "expanded" by having its individual print run killed and put into the actual Wednesday G — but it seems to have made its way into the real paper as well.
Here's a Gazette story on its website about the coming of comedian Lewis Black:
And here, complete with the exact same content, capitalization and wording — not to mention missing space after "author," — is the press release from the marketing department for the Pikes Peak Center and Colorado Springs World Arena:
No huge crime here, and the paper does acknowledge the information's source, if not that the information was not changed (read: fixed) in any way. It's just the typical behavior that the daily usually has exhibited in its citizen paper, creeping its way into the main product.