A new website promises to shine a spotlight on "churnalism" by exposing the extent to which news articles have been directly copied from press releases.
The website, churnalism.com, created by charity the Media Standards Trust, allows readers to paste press releases into a "churn engine". It then compares the text with a constantly updated database of more than 3m articles. The results, which give articles a "churn rating", show the percentage of any given article that has been reproduced from publicity material.
First of all, congrats to the PR team at Churnalism for such a great story placement.
There is nothing wrong with using a press release in a news article. The test should be the information in the press release news; that is, is the material accurate, new, interesting, relevant, and compelling. If so an editor should use it; it not an editor should discard it.
UPDATE: Shel Holtz said this so much better.