I’ve had skin in this game in the past, and reason to think about it recently in relation to the actions of local (New Zealand) lobbyists The Maxim Institute* (see Unlikely online bully, Liam Hehir). So a recent discussion caught my eye.
This strikes me as a good working definition:
Defining plagiarism is trickier than you might think, but most of the time we distinguish it from other kinds of copying (allusion, quotation) fairly easily: it’s plagiarism if the copyist hopes no one will notice.
Working in news and features, it really doesn’t ‘cost’ a writer much at all to cite a source. But it’s in the creative ‘space’, and politics, and also what’s referred to as ‘original research’ that writers are sometimes tempted to take credit (oh, that phrase!) for the work of others.
No-one’s perfect, including me.
* Speaking of Christians involved in politics, this recent Christianity Today editorial calling for Donald Trump’s ejection from the US Presidency as a ‘profoundly immoral’ and unsuitable person is remarkable and worth a read:
Trump Should Be Removed from Office
Archive [PDF] of Charles Hartman essay at LRB
Archive [PDF] of ‘Trump Should Be Removed from Office’ editorial, Christianity Today 19 Dec 2019