Ethics in journalism are routinely sacrified at the altar of PR releases due to time pressures, scarcity of resources, and sheer laxity and laziness. It is far easier to repackage (or sometimes quote verbatim) what someone else is saying, rather than doing the reporting yourself. I fess up to being guilty of this when I interned with a couple airline magazines a few years ago. They basically handed me a bunch of press releases, asked me to hit the Internet, make a couple phone calls, and then craft an article from it.
-Breakfast at Chaces Corral
-Talk on Publishing 101 at Borders
-New Shower Head from Lowe's