April 20, 2023

Berdakin Family Foundation Launches Ethics Chair at USC School of Cinematic Arts

By Benjamin Pola

The Berdakin Family Foundation establishes the Berdakin Family Chair for Ethics in Media and Technology at the USC School of Cinematic Arts. Entrepreneur and SCA Professor Diego Berdakin will be installed as the inaugural Chair. The fund aims to provide permanent financial support for the study of ethics in media and technology at the School.

“Diego Berdakin’s career encompasses all the touchpoints of modern media creation: technology, cinema, analytics, and cultural impact,” states Dean Daley.  “Having been on faculty for over a decade we are grateful he will continue engaging our students in how to combine it all efficiently, and of course ethically. This is an area that is of increasing importance in a world where Fake News and AI are ubiquitous.”

Diego Berdakin, Berdakin Family Chair for
Ethics in Media and Technology

Diego Berdakin is a LA-based entrepreneur and investor, dedicated to civic advancement.  Berdakin has been involved in various philanthropic endeavors including underwriting a course at the School of Cinematic Arts Summer Program in association with USC's Neighborhood Academic Initiative, which prepares high schoolers from South and East LA (USC’s neighborhood schools) for college. He is also a founding member of the Mayor's Fund for Los Angeles, which harnesses private partnerships to support city programs. Berdakin has been teaching at USC's School of Cinematic Arts since 2012 and has also taught courses at the USC Marshall School of Business and USC Viterbi School of Engineering.

Beginning in the fall semester of 2023, Berdakin will be teaching a new course at SCA titled "Digital Media Techniques of Entertainment and Fake News," which explores the impact of fake news, algorithms that discourage truth in media, and how fake news shapes public opinion and pop culture. The course will invite special guests from the entertainment and media industries to delve further into these areas. Berdakin expressed excitement about advancing understanding of the ethical implications of misinformation in the digital age.

“Dean Daley brought me to USC’s faculty over 10 years ago and in that time I have encountered some of the most curious and creative people I’ve ever met among USC students. Advancing our understanding of the ethical implications and societal impact of misinformation in our digital age is a challenge I’m looking forward to tackling with the support of Dean Daley and the rest of the incredible SCA faculty and student body.” 

To learn more about CNTV 499: Digital Media Techniques of Entertainment and Fake News, visit: classes.usc.edu