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SEN-5-19 A Bill to Institute a Public Relations Law and Ethics Class

BILL#: SEN-5-19


TITLE: A Bill to Institute a Public Relations Law and Ethics Class



Hannah James, College of Communication and Information Senator (  

Joseph Staton, At Large Senator, (

Nicole Painter, College of Communication and Information Senator (

Katie Gouge, Off-Campus Senator (

DATE: 15 January 2019


Whereas, all public relations majors are required to take, JREM 400 – Mass Communication Law and Ethics, in order to graduate from The University of Tennessee.


Whereas, the description of the class is as followed: “Emphasis on legal issues affecting print and electronic media, including libel, privacy, copyright, free press-fair trial, governmental regulations of advertising, electronic media, and public relations. Also includes ethical standards and practices.”


Whereas, although this class is helpful for public relations majors, journalism and PR professionals practice ethics differently.


Whereas, according to “The Commission on Public Relations Education,” In today’s practice of public relations, ethical conduct is essential. Modern public relations is defined by ethical principles, and no public relations practice should exist in contemporary society without a full commitment to ethical practice. Ethics for the public relations profession can be defined as a set of principles, beliefs and values that should be followed by all who engage in public relations practice.


Whereas, since ETHICS IS ESSENTIAL to public relations, there should be a PR Law and Ethics course.


Be it hereby resolved, that the University of Tennessee, Knoxville School of Advertising and Public Relations add a Public Relations Law and Ethics class.