Plagiarism in journalism is treated in varying ways. Do attitudes towards it travel across national and cultural boundaries? Norman P. Lewis of the University of Florida, Bu Zhong of Pennsylvania State University, Fan Yang of State University New York and Yong Zhou of Renmin University of China, compared 1,096 professional journalists who answered a survey in China and the United States about their attitudes toward attribution and plagiarism.
Despite differences in culture and politics of the two countries, journalists in the two countries did not vary significantly in their attitudes. Attitudes toward plagiarism are shared across national boundaries, the research shows.
Chinese journalists expressed greater support for generous attribution, regardless of the level of experience. “The heavy hand of the state logically could have been seen to endorse cutting corners, yet that view did not surface in this study”, the authors note.
Journalists from both countries were more willing to attribute information if it was in their control to do so, instead of being determined by the organization. When attribution was perceived to be widely embraced, also the individuals were more likely to share this belief, the authors found.
The article “How U.S. and Chinese journalists think about plagiarism” was published in Asian Journal of Communication and is available online (free abstract).
Picture: DSC00227 by Andrew Writer, license CC BY 2.0, cropped, colored