Model Barney and Black (1994)
This model makes several
assumptions as its creators attempt to compare lawyers to public
relations practitioners. According to Barney and Black, these two
professions are alike in two ways:
- Both are advocates
in an adversarial climate
- Both assume counterbalancing
messages will be provided by someone else.
In this model of public
relations ethics, Barney and Black suggest practitioners have no
obligation to consider the public interest or other outside
points of view. Because they assume a counterbalancing message is
someone else's job, public relations practitioners should only consider
the view of their client in their decision-making process.
Those who oppose this
approach to public relations ethics cite differences between the
conditioners under which lawyers and PR practitioners operate. Lawyers
practice in a court of law where fairness and equal representation
are guaranteed. PR professionals work in the court of public
opinion. Opponents say because a counterbalancing message is
not guaranteed, practitioners cannot afford to overlook the public
interest in ethical decision-making.