At its worst plagiarism is seen as theft of intellectual property. As a student I am conscious of citing references in my work. As a member of the Chartered Institute of Public Relations (CIPR) I subscribe to adhere to a code of conduct. The trouble is while the code advocates professionalism, honesty and integrity; it does not actually mention plagiarism. Crediting others for their ideas is implicit rather than explicit.
The Public Relations Society of America (PRSA) takes a stronger stance providing advice and examples that fit or do not fit their code of ethics. In a separate article they talk about the ‘halting the rise of plagiarism’, certainly the number of undergraduates who consider that it’s not very serious to copy web content is going down(Donald McCabe, Rutgers University).
So as a Chartered body is our code of conduct good enough? We have a generation who view on line content differently to text books in the library, who consider ‘mashups’ of content gathered from different sources the norm. It’s not that originality is rare it’s more that new media has created an environment where using someone else’s good idea as your own is way too easy.