He was a legend within that small Coney Island society in which few New Yorkers would want to become known as legends: the men and women who swim in the Atlantic when it is at its harshest and coldest. On a 6-degree day in January 1974, Mr. Rollino and six other members of the Iceberg Athletic Club swam into the waters off Coney Island. The freezing Atlantic was like steel: It didn’t intimidate him.There. See? I mentioned a story I liked and thought you might like to read. I credited the sources, quoted a "fair use" passage and linked to the original story so you could read the whole thing for yourself. That wasn't so hard.
“People told me he holds the record for swimming every day for eight years,” said Louis Scarcella, 59, a former homicide detective and a member of the city’s oldest winter swimming club, the Coney Island Polar Bear Club. “He was known as the Great Joe Rollino, and he was great. You knew he was great just by standing next to him. He just had that humble confidence and strength. It shined.”
Apparently for NPR it is. I was listening to "All Things Considered" this afternoon and heard the whole story all over again, with never a nod to the Times. Sure, NPR used their own words and did their own interview (though with the same former homicide detective quoted by the Times -- couldn't they even go into the hood and find someone on their own?) It would just seem common courtesy to acknowledge a nicely written and observed story, but apparently NPR disagrees.
You find a lot of this in the mainstream media, especially radio and TV but also print. And it's not hard to tell why the original source is often not credited. To do so would be to undermine the illusion of originality ("news") of the writer or producer. I'm not saying anybody is violating anybody's copyright. Just that they're being disingenuous at best.
Most conscientious bloggers are careful to credit stories and link to the originals. It gives the whole argument that bloggers are not doing real reporting and are just parasites living off the work of others a distinctly hypocritical quality. After all, many of the people making the accusation are doing the same or worse.