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A hefty percentage of whom are probably grinning right now.

All the hype that's fit to print: Considering Post editor Moore's emphasis on news, an article that turned up in the paper's December 2 entertainment section can't help but seem a bit contradictory. Headlined "Book Offers Safety Tips for Protecting Yourself, Your Possessions," the piece -- about Safe at All Times, penned by Janet Rodgers and published by Reader's Digest -- reads like a press release for a very good reason. It is a press release.

According to its byline, the item came from PRNewswire, a service that disseminates promotional copy to media organizations all over the world in the hopes that editors will choose to produce stories on the topics they pimp. But rarely do such outfits simply publish this material, and when they do, they generally are up front about its origins. Even Yahoo! Finance, which put the Rodgers promo online on November 29, clearly labeled it as a press release and identified its source as Reader's Digest -- two things the Post didn't bother doing.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts