The journalist in me is fuming this afternoon. After I was tipped off to this, I went to the web site for the NW Indiana Times newspaper to see for myself.
On the front page (on the afternoon of 3/16), one of the local "NEWS" story links was headlined "McColly Real Estate Is Hiring Now". Again, this was a "NEWS" story link.
After clicking the link up came the "story" which is nothing more than a press release from this firm that they are looking to hire. And, how is this for a coincidence?
At the top of the page is an obvious ADVERTISEMENT for, you guessed it, McColly Real Estate.
It is bad enough when the news media simply runs a press release verbatim without checking facts or adding their own touch. But running a blatant advertisement as if it is a news story hits rock bottom.
How are its readers supposed to believe anything positive about a local business from here on out?
If I was a real estate agent in this area (which is technically a part of the Chicago metro market), I would start sending announcements and press releases to the News Editor. When it doesn't get published (since you are not an advertiser), I would bring this to the attention of others, such as the FTC or even local government.
As of March 16th, this is the link to the story:
Places in Time III
4 days ago