COM 267 -- Electronic Media Writing: Theory and Practice Ruffin Bailey (513-7967)
Winston 133
Email: bailey dot teaching at gmail point com
3 credit hours (email is for final drafts, legitimate emergencies, and to schedule office visits only)
Class Periods: Course Website:
        Sect 1 -- 11:45-1:00 Office hours: Tues 1:30-2:30, Thurs 9-10

Shared Office: Tompkins G116A (beside Film Lab -- knock LOUDLY)

Course Schedule:
Accessible here.

Class Texts (You are not required to purchase these texts; both are available on reserve):
Robert B. Musburger. An Introduction to Writing For the Electronic Media (Focal Press, 2007).
Robert L. Hilliard. Writing for Television, Radio, and New Media (Thomson Wadsworth 2008).
Other items will be on eReserve or links will be given in class.

Required Prerequisite: 
Com 230: Intro to Communication Theory.  If you have not taken and passed COM 230, please tell me immediately.

You will also benefit from knowing how to use Skype.

Course Description:
This course is designed to help you to understand the theory and process of writing for a variety of electronic media and apply that knowledge in practical, real-life situations. You will understand the role of the writer in the production process and learn to manage the professional, practical, political, economic, and cultural conditions that enable and constrain writing and the writer in different media writing contexts. As any good writing is well researched and carefully constructed, you will spend much of your time learning the rules of media writing as well as the ways in which a writer creatively bends and breaks those rules. This course is meant to be part theory and part practice, and you will therefore be engaged in equal parts critical analysis and project-oriented production.

Course Objectives:

Course Grading:

Weight Option 1
Weight Option 2
10 Weekly "Best Media Writing of the Week" submissions
(10x2%) = 20%
(10x2.22%) = 22.2%
Professional Blog
Podcast/Radio Broadcast
Audio-Visual Production
In class participation, quizzes, and assignments
Media Analysis
Digital Portfolio 10%

The media projects (blog, podcast, audio-visual) will be completed on your own time outside of the classroom (with some in-class workshop days provided). These projects will vary in complexity and require you to manage your time wisely in order to complete them by the stated deadlines. You will electronically turn in each project by the assigned due date.

NOTE: You may either select to perform a timed media analysis during your exam period for 10% of your final grade (Option 1) or, in lieu of a final exam, use the exam period to revise and compile these projects into your digital portfolio.

Grading Criteria:
(Please review the weighted final grade percentages for each assignment in your student handbook, pp ix and xi)

Grade ranges in percentages (round down to closest integer)
A+ 98-100% C+ 77-79%
A 93-97% C 73-76%
A- 90-92% C- 70-72%
B+ 87-89% D+ 67-69%
B 83-86% D 63-66%
B- 80-82% D- 60-62%

Attendance Policy:
(also see NCSU Policies, Regulations, and Rules 02.20.3)
The Department of Communication values student attendance in courses and expects attendance in all courses from the very first day of class.   You will be allowed 4 absences of any kind during the semester.  After four absences, your final grade will be penalized.

Attendance will be taken by sign-in sheet.  It is your responsibility to ensure your signature is on each day's sheet.  Ask for the sheet if you do not see it.  Tardies will be marked by the instructor. Three tardies (including leaving class early) equal an absence.

If for any reason you exceed four (4) absences and you have excused absences, you will need to provide your instructor excuses for each of your five or more missed days.  At this point, any unexcused absences remaining may immediately cause penalties to be assessed to your final, and even five excused absences may have grade consequences to be determined on a case-by-case basis.  

The university defines excused absences as sanctioned anticipated situations and documented emergency situations.  Anticipated situations (participating in an official university function, court attendance, religious observances, or military duty) must be submitted in writing at least one week prior to the anticipated absence.  Emergency absences (student illness, injury or death of immediate family member) must also be documented. It is your responsibility to obtain the appropriate documentation for your instructor on excused absences.

(In other words, if you find you will be forced to miss more than four days (two weeks!) of instruction and participation with your peers, you will need to contact me as soon as is humanly possible.  In even briefer terms, please come to class.)

If, after reviewing the syllabus, you anticipate or know you will miss 6 or more classes (excused or unexcused), I would strongly encourage you to drop this course. Your grade will be lowered by these absences.

Cell Phones, Texting, etc.
Please ensure that you leave cell phones off and out of sight during class. If you receive a call during class or receive (or send) texts or other messages, your instructor reserves the right to confiscate the item for the class period and freely communicate with whomever is on the other end of the line. Your instructor will not be responsible for charges incurred during this communication, nor will the University or its affiliates. You solely will be responsible for those charges.


All assignments must meet the specified project completion time. Whether this is in-class or outside of class will depend on the project. Late or missed projects are unacceptable. Consider these projects as part of your job and not as part of a class. You don’t get poor grades if you perform poorly at your job; you get fired.  For assignments, feel free to consider using NCSU’s free Writing and Speaking Tutorial Services.  Call 515-3162 or visit for more information.

ADA Statement:
The Americans with Disabilities Act requires that reasonable accommodations be provided for students with physical, sensory, cognitive, systemic, learning, and psychiatric disabilities. Please contact me at the beginning of the semester to discuss necessary accommodations. If you have a documented disability and wish to discuss academic accommodations please contact me within the first week of class. In order to take advantage of these accommodations, students must register with Disability Services at 1900 Student Health Center, Campus Box 7509, 515-7653. If you will be participating in a sport or other University sponsored event this semester that may interfere with class attendance you should provide me with documentation so that we can make arrangements for you to make up for any missed class sessions. For more information see:

Academic Integrity:
Strict standards of academic honesty will be enforced according to the University policy and academic integrity. Consult the following web site for further detail:

Departmental Equity Statement:
NC State University provides equality of opportunity in education and employment for all students and employees.  Accordingly, NC State affirms its commitment to maintain a work environment for all employees and an academic environment for all students that is free from all forms of discrimination.  Discrimination based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated.  Harassment of any person (either in the form of quid pro quo or creation of a hostile environment) based on race, color, religion, creed, sex, national origin, age, disability, veteran status, or sexual orientation also is a violation of state and federal law and/or NC State University policy and will not be tolerated.  Retaliation against any person who complains about discrimination is also prohibited.  NC State’s policies and regulations covering discrimination, harassment, and retaliation may be accessed at