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Updated on December 1, 2011

The Communications

Mass Communication


Ordinarily transmitting information to many persons is known as mass communication. But such a definition is not adequate enough to express what mass communication intejnded is really for. It is true that mass communication involves a large number of persons. But that is not all. Actually mass communication is a process through which a message is extensively circulated among the persons who are far away from the source. Viewed in this sense, group communication and public communication involving many persons cannot be classified as mass communication, because the speaker and the audience here are not thus separated from each other by a great distance. What is needed for mass communication to take place is a large number of heterogeneous audiences, encompassing vast boundaries of space as well as some intermediary channels through which a message can be sent to the destination. Sydney Head (1976) suggests that the term mass communication must imply at least five things:

1. Relatively large audience

2. Fairly undifferentiated audience composition

3. Some from of message reproduction

4. Rapid distribution and delivery.

5. Low unit cost to the customers.

Barker (1981) defines:

Mass communication is the spreading of a message to an extended mass audience through rapid means of reproduction and distribution at a relatively inexpensive cost to the consumer. In each case, a message is transported from its original source to a widespread audience through an intermediary channel such as radio, television or newspaper.

In the opinion of Mehta: (1979) mass communication is concerned with transmitting information, thoughts and opinions, entertainments, etc. at a time to a large number of audience of different characteristics.

Agee, Ault and Emery (1979) define mass communication as a process of sending a message, thought and attitude through some media to a large number of heterogeneous audiences.

Dominick (1994) offers a comprehensive definition of mass communication:

Mass communication refers to the process by which a complex organization with the aid of one or more machines produces and transmits public messages that are directed at large, heterogeneous audiences.

In his opinion, the source in the mass communication situation is a group of individuals who usually act within predetermined roles in an organizational setting. Dominick has resorted to a fine example to explain a mass communication situation (process) with the help of a newspaper:

Reporters gather news; writers draft editorials. A cartoonist may draw an editorial cartoon; the advertising department lays out ads.; editors layout all of these things together on a sample page; technicians transfer this page to a master; which is taker to a press where other technicians produce the final paper; the finished copies are giver to the delivery staff who distribute them; and of course behind ass of these is a publisher who has the money to pay for a building, presses, trucks, paper, ink and so on.

By this tine, we have an idea about mass communication. In the light of the above discussion we can now define mass communication as a process in which professional communicators design and use intermediary channels (radio, television, or mews paper) to disseminate messages quickly at a time to a large number of heterogeneous but widespread and fairly undifferentiated audiences separated from a source by agreat distance.

Mass Communication

The Identification

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      Julesha Wankhede 15 months ago

      This is very informative, specially for mass communication students which help to learn.

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      promise 2 years ago

      is good i like the cuors

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      Godsfamily 3 years ago

      The United State of America Ambassador to Nigeria, James F. Entwistle, at the weekend revealed that his country has promised to deliver a credible electoral process that would enable Nigerians to freely express their wishes.

      Nigerian Tribune reports that the U.S envoy made the revelation during a visitation to the national chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie-Oyegun and other party chieftains.

      Comparable: United State Sign an Agreement On Training Of NPF

      Responding, Odigie-Oyegun, who thanked the U.S government for its various supports to Nigeria, also requested the US envoy to help sensitise other politicians on the need to allow the people have free, fair and credible elections.