What is Mass Communication?
Mass communication is the process of transmitting and sharing information through mass media to vast segments of the population. Mass communication varies from other modes of communication, such as interpersonal and organizational communication, as it relies on specific resources that send data to multiple recipients.
The easy explanation of mass communication would be that it is ‘public communication transmitted electronically or mechanically. In this way, messages are transmitted or sent to a large group of people spread across the world. The ‘mass’ in mass communication refers to the group of people towards whom this communication is directed.
The study of mass communication is primarily concerned with how the content of mass communication persuades the action, attitude, opinion, or emotion of the people receiving the information or otherwise influences it.
As these technologies are used for the flow of information, which is part of journalism and advertising, they are commonly understood to apply to different types of media.
Definition of Mass Communication
Some important definition of mass communication are discussed below:
Mass communication is concerned with transmitting information, thoughts and opinions, entertainments etc. at a time to a large number of heterogeneous audiences.Metha
Mass communication is a process of sending a message, thought and attitude through some media at a time to a large number of heterogeneous audiences.Emery
Mass communication is a process through which an individual, organization or govt. communicates with the general people.R. P. Molo
Types of Mass Communication
- Print Media Communication
- Broadcast Media Communication
- Transit Media Communication
- Digital Media Communication
Print Media Communication
Print media is traditional or conventional media. Newspapers, books, magazines, journals, etc. come under the category of print media. Any print publication which is meant for a large number of people is considered print media.
Once a time print media used to rule the news industry. But as technology evolved and new forms of media became popular, print media lost its glory. But its importance can never be challenged. Still today, print media is considered the most reliable among all forms of media. Most elderly people start their morning with newspapers. They enjoy reading the newspaper with a cup of tea and solving crosswords while traveling. Even in the age of television and mobile print media is keeping its prominence in terms of reliability and reference.
Broadcast Media Communication
Broadcast media includes television and radio. It brought a revolution in mass communication. The world of journalism got changed with the advent of radio and television. Not only in the area of journalism, but it has also revolutionized the arena of entertainment. Films are still a great source of entertainment for us.
With the changing time, both radio and television changed their shape. Invent of private satellite channels transformed the way we used to see the world. Private radio channels are very popular among youth. Though they are getting stiff competition from digital media, their popularity has not been lessening among the public.
Transit Media Communication
The form of transit media is utilized for advertising products or services as well as spreading social information and awareness to the general public. Transit Media is more inclined towards advertising through posters, banners, signs, and notices in means of transportation such as buses and metro rail, amongst others. Advertising plays a pivotal role in promoting transit media. Advertisers have full control of the message being sent to their audience.
Digital Media Communication
This is the newest form of media which is gaining popularity every day. For the last two decades, it has been the most influential mass media tool. Especially, among the new generation, digital media is the most common for getting information as well as their daily dose of entertainment. Digital media provides the opportunity to connect with the world anytime, anywhere at a lightning speed. Social media is the part of digital media that has become an integral part of our life today.
Nature of Mass Communication
The nature/characteristics of mass communication are as follows:
- Large-scale Distribution and Reception
- Asymmetrical Relationship
- Impersonal and Standardized Content
- Absence of Direct Feedback
- Use of Modern Technological Media
Large-scale Distribution and Reception
Large-scale distribution and reception of media are someone of the most obvious features of mass communication; as the name indicates ‘mass’ media is meant to reach many people.
Another important feature of mass communication is that the relationship between the sender and the receiver is asymmetrical. The sender has more prestige and authority than the receiver.
Impersonal and Standardized Content
The content or message of mass communication differs from that of other kinds of human communication in that it is impersonal and standardized.
Absence of Direct Feedback
In mass communication, there is no direct feedback from the receivers. It is mainly because the receivers in mass communication are far away from the source of information.
Use of Modern Technological Media
Channels of mass communication use modern technology. Radio, tape machines, microphones, and devices that digitize sound wave transmitters that disseminate them, and receiving units that decode the sound waves and render them back into audio form approximating the original.
Functions of Mass Communication
The functions of mass communication can be broadly divided into three headings:
Inform the public is the most basic and primary function of mass communication. Mass communication ensures that there is a constant flow of information regarding events and developments occurring in the country and the world. This specifically refers to the role played by news channels, newspapers, magazines, and internet sites devoted to news.
Mass communication also fulfills the function of educating the masses. It educates people on news, events, changes, and developments and especially on cultural values. The latter is particularly important since, although subtle, it helps people develop a sense of community and so performs a socializing function.
Media represents our society and by reading or watching articles or programs based on our society we learn to select values that are important to us and critically analyze and then discard those that are not.
This is the most obvious function of mass communication. With the availability of media to a large number of people at affordable costs, media content is expected to meet the interests and tastes of all kinds of audiences. This, in other words, has led to the democratization of media. Further, mass communication has enabled people to participate in the process of entertainment.
Most of the mass media are used as vehicles for promotion and persuasion. Goods, services, ideas, persons, places, and events are endless in the range of things advertised through mass media.
Socialization refers to the process by which an individual develops the skills and habits to participate and settle in his/her socio-cultural environment. Uses of media for mass communication is a strong social force and an effective agent of socialization.
3 Models of Mass Communication
The models of communication help us to understand the process of communication where the factors of communication are shown in a particular order and relations. We have here listed the 3 models of mass communication:
Shannon and Weaver’s Model 1948
Shannon-Weaver Model states communication begins with the information source or sender who creates a message. This message is then transmitted along a channel. The role of the transmitter is to convert the messages into signals that are capable of being transmitted through a channel. The signals so received are then reconverted to the original message by the receiver so as to reach the destination.
Shannon in this model very significantly discusses the role of noise. The noise in his model refers to disturbances in the channel that may interfere with the signals and may produce signals that were not intended. Shannon also elaborates on the role of redundancy and entropy as the major concepts of communication because they help in overcoming the disturbances caused by the channels.
Harold Lasswell’s Model 1948
He analyzed Nazi propaganda films to identify mechanisms of persuasion used to secure the acquiescence and support of the German populace for Hitler. He gave verbal models of communication and politics in the same year that Shannon wrote his paper on mathematical theory. His model of communication is in the shape of a question containing many more questions:
- Who says
- What to
- Whom in
- What Channel with
- What effect?
David Berlo’s Model 1960
David Berlo’s model is popularly known as the SMCR model. As has been said earlier, it is the socio-cultural extension of the mathematical model of communication given by Shannon and Weaver. Berlo says that the source and destination, i.e., the speaker and listener should share certain elements in order to achieve successful communication.
Importance of Mass Communication
The importance of mass communication are discussed below:
- Observation of Surroundings
- Cover Large Number of Audiences
- Helps in Socializing
- Starting New Business
Observation of Surroundings
Mass communication helps in the Observation of Surroundings. It is one of the most important functions. This refers to the collection and distribution of information on events both outside and within society. Generally, this refers to the news function of the press.
Mass communication is important for acts of entertainment primarily intended for amusement are distinguished from information and fill the reader’s/audiences’ time, by providing a release from tension, stress, and difficulties.
Mass communication plays an important role in the marketing process. the uses of media carry advertising messages which help in attracting consumers and also inform them about market price, demand, supply, and also new trends. Some say that uses of mass media exist primarily for marketing.
Cover Large Number of Audiences
Mass communication helps in reaching out to a large and vast number of heterogeneous audiences for sharing information. Mass communication makes it easy to share information with millions of people through mass media.
Helps in Socializing
Mass Communication also helps in socializing. In today’s life, the use of mass communication through the mass media is very popular. Some feel that it will be hard to survive without mass media.
Starting New Business
Mass communication is very helpful in forming plains and strategies for starting a new business by providing vital information regarding your business objectives.
What is Mass Communication?
Mass communication is the process of transmitting and sharing information through mass media to vast segments of the population.
What are the types of mass communication?
Types of Mass Communication:
1. Print Media Communication
2. Broadcast Media Communication
3. Transit Media Communication
4. Digital Media Communication