atlrus - 3:41 pm on Aug 28, 2012 (gmt 0)
I agree with TypicalSurfer - newspapers make money by selling ads and PR is just another metric to them to sell that advertising.
And the paper is using the PR in the same way they would use, let's say, a "best product" award. In other words, the newspaper is saying "Come advertise with us, we were awarded "PR7" by Google", much in the way a company could say "Come buy from us, we were awarded "A" by the Better Business Bureau".
As far as I know, there are no restrictions on how a website can use the PR number google provides. Therefore the newspaper has every right to sell advertisement and use the PR as an incentive. What's more, we all know that the PR number is absolutely useless for anything but link selling. If google didn't want this to happen, you would assume they'd removed it a long time ago...