As the newspaper industry's financial position gets more precarious, management finds it harder and harder to disguise the fact that the paper is a corporation that acts just like any other corporation. They lay off workers, spin their circulation numbers and stroke their advertisers.
Check out this page from the Scottsdale Zone version of the Republic. The story is a puff piece about how wonderfull Scottsdale Community College is. The advertisement below is a paid piece...about how wonderful Scottsdale Community College is. Come on guys, at least split them up...after all, there are so few ads in that section that there are plenty of optons.
But wait, maybe it's one big ad. See that first paragraph? You can't read it, but it says that this article was submitted by the PR person for SCC. However, the article is in a format that is indistinguishable from the other articles in the paper and there's no disclosure that this is a paid advertisement. So did SCC buy the entire page and get to submit this article? Or did SCC submit an article like an OP ED or a feature and then buy the space at the bottom? Readers have know way of knowing if the article is really an ad or not. If it's not an ad then it looks like SCC got to publish its puff piece based on the fact that it purchased an ad below it. Neither option passes the smell test.