Showing posts with label Mass Communication. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mass Communication. Show all posts

Sunday, 26 March 2017

Introduction of Mass Communication


Mass Communication
Mass Communication
It is omnipresent. The vehicles of mass communication or the mass media are everywhere. From home, office, and outside, no place has escaped from mass, media. it is considered to be intrusive as it easily enters into the private worlds of our homes. It is attractive and alluring. Sometimes we find it excessive and repulsive. .. Often it is considered to be omnipotent or all-powerful as mass communication of information and images through advertising makes us buy things. Wars have been won through mass communication. Most importantly mass communication shapes public opinion.

What then is mass communication? To give a simple definition:

Mass communication a process whereby mass produced messages are transmitted to large, anonymous and heterogeneous masses of receivers.

By 'mass produced’ we mean putting the content or message of mass communication in a form suitable to be disseminated to large masses of people. This also means that some technological means are used for both producing and transmitting the message.
The term 'mass’ means a large aggregate of people spread over vast geographical areas. The characteristics of mass in mass communication are heterogeneous, anonymous, separated from each other; and loosely organized.
Heterogeneous means that the individual members of the mass are from a wide variety of classes and categories in society. Anonymous means the individuals in the mass do not know each other. Also the source or sender of messages in mass communication does not know the individual members of the mass. Also the receivers in mass communication are physically separated from each other and share no physical proximity. They are, in fact, spread over different geographic locations.
Finally, the individual members forming a mass are not united. They have no social organization. If at all they are united, they are very loosely organized. Unlike groups, the mass does not have a body of customs and tradition, no established sets of rules no structure or status roles and no established leadership.

Eliot Friedson (1953) defined mass as follows:
Mass is an aggregation of Individuals who are separate, detached and anonymous.

This is a very simplified definition of the term mass. Many changes have taken place in the recent times particularly in the field of technologies involved in mass communication and segmentation of audience. These have resulted in the audience members being less heterogeneous and anonymous than in the past.


Transmission - Source Receiver Destination Noise
Transmission Model
For communication to occur we require a sender, a massage, a channel and receiver(s). Further there is feedback which is the response or reaction of the receiver; which comes back to the sender through the same or some other channel. Another element, which plays an important role in communication, is noise or the disturbances or barriers.
All these elements are there is mass communication also. In fact Harold Lasswell's model of communication – ‘WHO says WHAT in WHICH CHANNEL to WHOM with WHAT EFFECT’ - is applicable to mass communication also. The difference from interpersonal and other levels of communication lies in the multitude of receivers. In mass communication, multitude of receivers receives the message:

  • Either simultaneously and immediately as in case of radio and television,
  • Individually over a long period of time as in case of films, and 
  • Over centuries as in case of some books like The Quran, Bhagwat Gita, The Bible or the great classics.
  • Other differences are in the degree of physical proximity (in interpersonal communication sender and receiver are mostly face to face while in mass communication they may be hundreds and thousands of miles away)
  • Mass communications differs from other levels of communication in the time taken for feedback to reach back the sender (source). In interpersonal communication the feedback is instantaneous. But in mass communication, the feedback is delayed and often negligible. In certain cases there is no feedback at all. 


Receivers of mass communication or audience vary according to the medium used. For network television like DD-1, the audience could be millions of viewers. For an average book, the audience could be several thousands. And for a scholarly journal, the audience could be a few hundred. , Whatever the size, each audience is composed of individuals. Each Individual has a separate and distinct personality and they react to the medium's message in different fashions.
 Each individual member of an audience is exposed to, receives, perceives and retains a message differently according to his or her personal self-concept or frame of reference. Scholars often stress upon this aspect of audience individuality because audiences are often thought to be automatons or robots that react to mass communication in one single way.