Loyola University Chicago

School of Communication

Digital Ethics

Loyola’s School of Communication and its Center for Digital Ethics and Policy (CDEP) offer a new certificate course aimed to help create responsible digital citizens that can navigate ethical issues online and offline. This nine week program focuses on personal integrity, ethical behavior and the appropriate balance between justice and fairness in journalism and other professions as it manifests in the digital world. Course participants will be able to shape their learning around the ethical issues that are most likely to come up in their particular professional contexts and be able to take this knowledge back to their organization to help guide policy and procedure for dealing with digital ethics.

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Ideal For:

Working professionals who want to stay ahead of the ethical dilemmas created by the use of digital technologies.

Program Format:

This course is taught in an online format with a two-day program at Loyola University Chicago’s downtown campus during the CDEP’s annual symposium on digital ethics. Students will complete readings and exercises in their own time during the week, which will then be discussed during the online sessions.

Program Dates:

September 6th - November 1st

Key Topics:

  • Ethical foundations, codes of ethics and ethical decision making tools
  • Basic overview of the legal limits of online speech
  • Strategies to spot and deal with fake content
  • Strategies to deal with online comment sections
  • Intellectual property and user generated content
  • Understanding and navigating privacy concerns
  • Ethical issues with big data
  • The limits of manipulating visuals
  • The ethics of deception and subterfuge
  • Ethical issues in the professions (advertising, journalism, PR,… )
  • Creating a personal and professional ethics statement
  • Recognizing and interviewing a moral exemplar
  • Selected topic areas related to the students’ professional background


Bastiaan Vanacker is an Associate Professor at Loyola University Chicago, where he teaches courses in media ethics and law. He holds a Ph.D. in Mass Communication from the University of Minnesota and a M.A. in philosophy from the University of Ghent, Belgium. He is the former head of the Media Ethics Division of the Association for Educators in Journalism and Mass Communication. Since 2014, he has been the Program Director for the CDEP. His work has appeared in a variety of academic journals and has covered issues including regulation of hate speech, plagiarism detection software, and virtual communities.

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For a course consultation, please contact us at: LoyolaSOC@luc.edu or 312.915.6548. Prospective students are encouraged to visit our FAQ section.