How U.S. and Chinese journalists think about plagiarism

Norman P. Lewis, Bu Zhong*, Fan Yang, Yong Zhou

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review


A comparison of 1,096 professional journalists in China and the United States on attitudes toward attribution and plagiarism reveals Chinese journalists were more likely to see attribution as a practice to be embraced regardless of career longevity and culture, suggesting journalistic norms are more important than a collectivist orientation. Attribution was more likely to be embraced by those who see principles as more important than expediency, affirming research that plagiarism is hardly a monolithic concept. Overall, journalists in the two nations did not vary significantly in their attitudes toward plagiarism, despite vast differences in culture and politics as well as evidence that in some other fields China is more accepting of reusing material without attribution. The data show that among journalists, attitudes toward plagiarism are shared across national boundaries, reinforcing related research showing that a journalism culture exists and is shared at least in part across national boundaries.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)490-507
Number of pages18
JournalAsian Journal of Communication
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 3 Sept 2018

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Communication
  • Education

User-Defined Keywords

  • attribution
  • cross-cultural comparison
  • cultural differences
  • journalism ethics
  • Plagiarism


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