I agree generally with Mr. Omvik's take on this, but would add the following. We are all too hung up on the specifics of processing. HDR is one of many techniques that can make a picture either or less true to "real life". Built-in "digital range optimizer" can do some of the same, as can a tweak of the gamma and contrast.
I once took a picture of a two friends standing next to car in fairly bright twilight that looked more like day than night. Iin aperture-priority, the friends and the car were properly exposed and the sky became quite bright. It looked like bright day. Next, I tried with a diffused flash. The subjects were properly exposed but the background were dark; it looked like a scene under a streetlight at night. Neither one would be good journalism.
I will go out further on a limb and suggest that if the processing created a picture that looked like the scene would in person, the newspaper probably just created a distraction by mentioning how it was processed.