I've gone back and forth with Roch Smith Jr. on the subject of news organizations and press releases. Roch says it's plagiarism, plain and simple, to use copy from a press release without identifying it as such, while I've argued that it's something else -- not a best practice for a news site (and imho clearly off-limits for feature-writing), but not quite the same thing as stealing someone else's work and passing it off as your own. It's lazy and credulous, and it makes Roch's favorite target, WFMY News2's DigTriad site, look, well, lazy and credulous, but it's more a venal sin than a mortal one. Not that the site needs help looking bad. Anyway, the distinction as understood in the trade is explained well in this article.
Lately, though, Roch's been turning up examples of material from bylined articles appearing under WFMY bylines. The source articles are wire-service copy, which is avaialble to subscribers for re-use, but the byline thing seems hinky to me. Anyone in the daily news biz know the rules on this?