In the scenario I outlined previously, the client submits 'text' without code. It's up to the host website how they publish this. I did have a conversation with a quite large, well-known website about nofollow and I may as well be talking in a non-native tongue. They also said that they couldn't implement any such changes without a blanket change to their system for publishing this kind of content (which they were unwilling to do).
Whether you believe this or not, it does illustrate how difficult it is for a legitimate company undertaking PR to legitimate news and industry sources to try and stay on the right side of Google. Isn't it about Google actually 'rewarding', or at least not penalising, news stories which appear on trusted, industry leading news sources? Any such press releases would have already passed the sites' own review process and not auto-published without any kind of editorial control.