I've recently been researching a number of niches where the top ranking websites have a ton of links from press releases that have been picked up by various niche aggregators and news sites. However:
(a) the release is actually NEWS - a merger, a new patent, a new facility with 2000 jobs, a new CEO etc. News.
(b) the links are always the url of the site, as part of the contact details for further information.
I'd be willing to bet that those links are not harmful, even if they count for nothing, whether no-followed or not.