Mass Communication

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Mass communication, by definition, is the process in which professional

communication using technological devises share messages over great distances

to influence large audiences. The technology of modern mass communication

results from the confluence of many types of inventions and discoveries, some of

which ( the printing press, for instance) actually preceded the Industrial Revolution.

Technological ingenuity of the 19th and 20th centuries has developed the newer means

of mass communication, particularly broadcasting, without which the present near-

global diffusion of printed words, pictures, and sounds would have been impossible.

The steam printing press, radio, motion pictures, television, and sound recordings-

as well as systems of mass production and distribution- were necessary before public

communication, in its present form, might occur.

What I would like to discuss now is the actual process of mass communication and

how it works. In mass communication, a professional communicator is the source,

someone who shares information, ideas, or attitudes with someone else. The source may

be an author, a newspaper reporter, a television reporter, or an announcer. The

technological devices are the channels, or the means by which the message was sent.

An example of this would be that radio and television messages are transmitted via cable

and satellite systems. The message is whatever the source attempts to share with another

person. In mass communication, the large audience comprises the receivers, the people

who are the attended recipients of the message. Occasionally a receiver of the message

will sent feedback to the source, that is, a response that allows the source to determine if

the message was correctly understood. In mass communication feedback can be

conveyed through a letter to the editor, for instance, or a telephone call to a television


There are several reasons why it is important to understand the process off mass

communication. Probably the most important is that by understanding the process of

mass communication we will learn to think critically about the messages the media

send us. We will become more thoughtful media consumers.

How to Cite this Page

MLA Citation:
"Mass Communication." 28 Mar 2017

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As a consumer of the

media, and as a citizen of the world in which technology seems to be bringing people

closer together, our responsibility is to understand how the media function and to

develop the skills to interpret the significance of the products they offer. By

understanding the nature and function of mass communication, we can begin to

recognize the significance of the media and the role they play in shaping our

understanding of the world.

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