CAS 842: Ethical Concerns and Controversies for Emergent Thinkers

Course Description (core course)

This course examines how events, politics, laws and people have shaped professional ethics and ethics codes in the U.S. The course will train you to identify ethical issues across media communication industries - specifically those in journalism, public relations and advertising and across convergent media like social media, broadcast TV and radio, and other visuals such as advertisements and photo journalism. Case studies across the industries and media will illustrate a diversity of ethical decision dilemmas. The course will encourage self-examination of one's own ethics and the role of ethics in one's profession.

Learning Objectives

  • Understand the history, principles, role and consequences of professional communication in a democratic society.
  • Develop a taxonomy of approaches to ethical decision-making that apply to professional communication.
  • Examine the similarities and differences between ethics codes and standards across industries, such as news media, public relations, advertising and other businesses.
  • Choose appropriate approaches, principles and frameworks for thinking through complex ethical issues.
  • Identify strengths of each ethical approach.
  • Identify weaknesses of each ethical approach.
  • Recognize that multiple conclusions are possible when different principles are applied to the same problem.
  • Develop an understanding of the role of culture and government in the creation and application of ethical principles including differing assumptions across countries.