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Introduction To Mass Communication

Mass communication is the process of imparting and exchanging information through mass media to large population segments. It utilizes various forms of media as technology has made the dissemination of information more efficient. Primary examples of platforms utilized and examined include journalism and advertising. Mass communication, unlike interpersonal communication and organizational communication, focuses on particular resources transmitting information to numerous receivers. The study of mass communication is chiefly concerned with how the content and information that is being mass communicated persuades or affects the behavior, attitude, opinion, or emotion of people receiving the information.

Introduction to Mass Communication

Narrowly, mass communication is the transmission of messages to many recipients at a time. However, mass communication can be broadly understood as the process of extensive circulation of information within regions and across the globe.

Through mass communication, information can be transmitted quickly to many people who do not necessarily live near the source. Mass communication is practiced through various channels known as mediums, which include radio, television, social networking, billboards, newspapers, magazines, books, film, and the Internet. In this modern era, mass communication is used to disperse information at an accelerated rate, often regarding politics and other polarizing topics. There are major connections between the media that is consumed through mass communication and our culture, which contributes to polarization and dividing people based on consequential issues.[1]

In social science, mass communication is a sub-field of communication studies. Mass communication is "the process by which a person, group of people or organization creates a message and transmits it through some type of medium to a large, anonymous, heterogeneous audience."[2] This implies that the audience of mass communication is mostly made up of different cultures and behavior and belief systems. Mass communication is commonly associated with media studies.

In the United States, the study of mass communication is often associated with the practical applications of journalism, television and radio broadcasting, film, public relations, corporate, or advertising. With the diversification of media forms, the study of mass communication has extended to include social media and new media, which both have stronger feedback models than traditional media sources.[citation needed]

The history of communication stretches from prehistoric forms of art and writing to modern communication methods such as the Internet. Mass communication began when humans could transmit messages from a single source to multiple receivers. Mass communication has moved from theories including the hypodermic needle model (or magic bullet theory) to more modern theories such as computer-mediated communication.[citation needed]

Advertising, in relation to mass communication, is marketing a product or service in a persuasive manner that encourages the audience to buy the product or use the service. Because advertising generally takes place through some form of mass media, such as television, studying the effects and methods of advertising is relevant to the study of mass communication. Advertising is the paid, impersonal, one-way marketing of persuasive information from a sponsor. Through mass communication channels, the sponsor promotes the adoption of products or ideas. Advertisers have full control of the message being sent to their audience.[3][self-published source?]

Public relations is the strategic communication process of providing information to the public in order to present a specific view of a product or organization. According to Public Relations Society of America, public relations is about influencing and building a relationship between an organization and its viewers across various media platforms.[6] Public relations differs from advertising in that it is less obtrusive and is aimed at providing a more comprehensive opinion to a large audience in order to shape public opinion. Unlike advertising, public relations professionals only have control until the message is relayed to media gatekeepers, who decide where to pass the information on to the audience.[3]

Social media, in its modern use, refers to platforms used on both mobile devices and home computers that allow users to interact through the use of words, images, sounds, and video. Social media includes popular sites such as Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook as well as sites that can aid in business networking, such as LinkedIn. The use and importance of social media in communications and public relations has grown drastically over the years and is now a staple in advertisements to mass audiences. For many newer companies and businesses geared towards young people, social media is a tool for advertising purposes and for growing brands. Social media provides additional ways to connect and reach out to a specific, targeted audience.

Recordings, developed in the 1870s, became the first non-print form of mass communication. The invention of the phonograph by Thomas Edison in the late 19th century, the graphophone by Alexander Graham Bell and Charles Tainter, and the gramophone by The Victor Talking Machine Company were the first competing mass media forms that brought recorded music to the masses. Recording changed once again in the 1950s with the invention of the LP (long play) vinyl record, followed eight track-tapes, then vinyl, and finally cassettes in 1965. Compact discs (CDs) followed and were seen as the biggest invention in recorded arts since Thomas Edison. Nowadays, recorded music is usually listened to using streaming platforms such as Apple Music, Youtube Music, Soundcloud, and Spotify, which are becoming the primary sources of music recordings. Even with the progression into digital music, vinyl and cassettes remain popular physical forms of music.

Radio is considered the most widely accessible form of mass communication in the world and the medium used to the greatest degree in the United States. Internet radio has now become increasingly more popular as radio stations are streaming content through their websites and other applications. Music streaming services such as Apple Music and Spotify have also integrated radio features into their platforms. Spotify Radio is a feature that allows Spotify to continuously create a playlist for its users with tracks and podcast segments based on any artist or playlist they wish.

A podcast is an audio file that is recorded and digitally uploaded to an online platform in order to be downloaded and listened to by the general public. Podcasting, as a form of mass communication, has steadily rose in popularity over the past few years. From 2014 to 2019, podcasts have doubled in listeners and podcasting itself has grown by 122%.[9] Following trends in radio and recorded music, podcasts are available to stream on numerous online platforms such as Spotify, Youtube, and Apple Music. Some podcasts are recorded in front of a live audience and then uploaded, enabling the public to listen to their favorite podcast hosts live. With the introduction of podcasts in the 2000s, people can now share niche interests, news, and conversations to a larger audience than was possible using traditional radio.

Convergence refers to the coming together of telecommunications as forms of mass communication in a digital media environment. There is no clear definition of convergence and its effects; however, it can be viewed through three lenses: technological convergence, cultural convergence, and economic convergence.[10] Technological convergence is the action of two or more media companies merging in a digital platform and can lead to companies developing new commodities or becoming part of new sectors and/or economies.[11] Cultural convergence deals with the blending of different beliefs, values, and traditions between groups of people and may occur through the globalization of content. Sex and the City, an American television show set in New York City, was viewed internationally and became popular among female workers in Thailand.[10] A study conducted on the consumption of YouTube by the Information Technology Department and Sociology Department at Cornell University concluded that cultural convergence occurs more frequently in advanced cosmopolitan areas.[12]

Integrated communication refers to the process of bringing together several types of mass communication to function across the mediascape. Integrated communication unifies all mass communication elements, such as social media, public relations, and advertising. This ensures that the ways in which a company communicates follow the company's business goals and remain consistent across all media channels. This brings value to brand loyalty and to maintaining brand identity.[13]

In the 1970s, television began to change to include more complicated and three-dimensional characters and plots. PBS launched in 1970, becoming the home for programming that would not be suitable for network television. It operates primarily on donations, with little government funding, rather than having commercials. On January 12, 1971, the sitcom All in the Family premiered on CBS, covering the issues of the time and portraying a bigot named Archie Bunker.[14] By 1972, the sales of color television sets surpassed that of black-and-white sets. In the 1980s, television became geared towards what has become known as the MTV Generation, with a surge in the number of cable channels.[15] Of all the mass media today, television attracts the largest number of viewers. Its audience is greater in size than that of any other media audience. Since television is able to attract the audiences of all age groups, literate and illiterate and of all strata of society, it has attracted an enormous audience.

Photography plays a role in the field of technology and mass communication by demonstrating facts or reinforcing ideas. Although photos can be altered digitally, it is still considered[by whom?] as proof to expose and communicate.[14] Photography establishes the basic roles: recording great historic events, documenting sociological and journalistic researches, and dynamically influencing the mobilization of public opinion toward social and legislative reforms. 041b061a72


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