THE BESIC FUNCTIONS OF MASS COMMUNICATION
THE MASS COMMUNICATION
Basic functions of mass communication can be divided into broad three classes: informing, persuading and entertaining.
- Informing: The most important function of mass communication is dissemination of information to the public primary through news media-electronic and print. Information diffused through these channels (media) is about new events, products, changes in policies, ideas, philosophies and so forth. Mass media are particularly effective to spread current information having news values.
- Persuading: Persuasion is another function of mass media. Because of its having persuasive potential, both electronic and print media are used for advertising products, services, business, charities, or for political campaign.
- Entertaining: Entertainment is the most common function of mass communication. When used for entertainment, the mass media publicize such programs as are pleasurable to the consumers or at least they provide the audience with some sort of escape of diversion from anxieties of daily life. For example, Newspapers for this purpose may include comics, crossword puzzles and the like. Televisions may show situation comedies, drama, variety shows, etc. Radio entertainment primarily consists of music, talk shows, etc.
Preconditions for Successful Mass Communication:
As mentioned earlier, a large number of audiences are contacted through mass communication. Therefore, every care should be taken to make communication effective. There are certain preconditions to make successful mass communication. These preconditions are:
- Understanding: The communicator himself must have clear understanding of the massage to be conveyed
- Thinking: The communicator must also thoroughly think over the using of words, timing and manner of communication to make the message cognitive, attractive, and acceptable.
- Consistency: there must be consistency between actions or behaviors of and the message sent by the communicator.
- Follow up: To have an idea about the attitudes, feelings, reactions or understanding of the audience, the communicator is needed for arranging follow-ups.
Mass communication Media:
Media which are used for sending messages to a huge number of audiences at home and abroad are known as mass media. These media are so large in number that it will not be an exaggeration to comment that we are a media society. But we will notice here some important media only:
- Print Media: Print media are most suitably applied to the literate section of our human society. These media usually carry the message of commercial, economic or political interest to the readers or consumers at home and abroad. The print media may be of different forms such as dailies. Weeklies, periodicals, leaflets, etc.
- Audio Media: Radio is the best audio medium. Through these medium advertisements, government messages, circulars, etc. are widely spread for public consumption. Besides, microphones and record players also act as audio media. When messages are sent through these media, audiences receive them by the ear. So these media are particularly important for illiterate messes.
- Audio Visual Media: Messages sent through these media are seen as well as heard simultaneously. A television, one of the audiovisual media, is the most powerful and influential mass medium. Varieties of programs such as documentaries, news, educational shows, adventure series, sports spectaculars, movies, cartoons and so forth, are presented through a television to meet the needs of all viewers. The other media in this group are movies, video cassettes, etc.
- Traditional Media: In addition to these above-mentioned modern media, some authors have mentioned a few traditional media for mass communication. Important traditional media are ‘Jattra stage’. Theater stage, drama stage, drumming, etc.
Mass Communication Agencies:
There are some agencies, which facilitate mass communication. These agencies collect information form different sources and arrange for circulation to the public through mass media. The agencies closely connected with mass communication are outlined below:
- Press Association: The press associations collect news and photos from different for publicity. Bangladesh Shangbad Shangstha (B.S.S.) and Eastern News Agency (E.N.A.) are two such agencies ofBangladesh. Other important agencies of the world are A.F.P. Reuters AP, P.T.I. U.N.I. etc.
- The Syndicates of Reporters: The reporters of syndicate also help mass communication through supplying collected news, commentaries, entertaining features, etc to the modern mass media.
- Advertising Agencies: There are many advertising agencies who are engaged to arrange for advertising foods of their clients and they do this through distributing photos, cartoons, news, etc to the mass media like radios, TV, newspaper, etc
- Advertising Department/Public Relations Department: There are many large organizations, winch heave their own advertising departments. These departments are in charge of conducting advertisement operations of their products. But inBangladesh organization arrange for circulating messages to the internal as well as external members of the society.
- Public Information Ministry: The public information ministry of the of the government collects information from various sources and them broadcasts this information through radios, TV documentary films, newspapers, bulletins, etc.
- Other Associations: Besides the above agencies, research institutions, public relations, counseling firms and other specialized organizations do a lit in this regard. They gather information from the remotest comer of the corner of the country and conduct advertisement as demanded and directed by the clients.
Global Village: A name given to the entire world because of its being smaller then before due to tremendous advances in international communication.
Heterogeneous: Composed of different kinds such as cultures, races, etc
Intermediary Channel: Channels used between a sender and a receiver if a message.
Public Message: Messages directed to a large number of heterogeneous and scattered audiences.
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