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Introduction to Mass Communication

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Communication – sending of a message from one person to another, in simplest terms - has been
one of the oldest characteristics of human life. Even when formal languages were not available, people were
able to make each other understand their feelings and gestures to accomplish routine tasks.
There is no trace available as when the languages came into being, the communication among people,
however, got on faster track than before with the availability of formal languages in the form of symbols,
gestures, body expressions and words. Since those times the communication has been shaping into different
forms and is supposed to be the key element in creation of different subjects and passing on experiences of
one generation onto the next.
Starting from sending and receiving information amongst few individuals to high number of people, the
communication is now well classified into different categories.
Although main focus here is the mass communication, it is pertinent to understand some basic elements,
fields and concepts of elementary communication before entering the very complex and widely exploited
world of mass communication.

Basic Concepts of Communication

Well, the world communication has its origin in the Latin word COMMUNIS which stands for
common or to create commonness with the people around you. This is possible when you share your
feelings and ideas with others.
According to commonly used definition, communication is transfer of message from sender to receiver
through a channel. It is understood that speech or utterances in the form of voice, were the initial stages of
communication which gradually developed into a defined form of language when all the people of a
community got to attach specific meanings to the voices and gestures.
It might have taken centuries to mankind to enter the stage of writing its messages on stones etc. But once
writing was developed as one mean of communication there had been attempts to find some material to
write on, which was more sustainable and easy to take along in travel. Using bark of certain trees for this
purpose, the endeavor led to invention of paper, thus revolutionizing the early days’ communication.
Writing on paper by hand must have brought joy to people for sending their messages across to many
others, after that, the invention of printing overwhelmed efforts to give new dimensions to communication.
This further led to setting up a whole new printing industry world over followed by modern means of
communication, which will be discussed in detail in this course.

Why need communication?

The foremost reason to communicate to others for the human beings in particular is their own
survival. There is hardly any sense in believing that a person can all alone live a life by fulfilling its daily life
needs. The fact is that every next moment a person is dependent on others to survive. Hence it is inevitable
for all of us to bank on communication.


There is a very genuine instinct in all the living creatures to cooperate with each other to keep the
cycle of life running. Humans need this more cautiously as to keep their hard felt sense of superiority.


Feeling of keeping a range of relationship from an individual to family and tribe was strong from
early days of human civilization. It would have been extremely difficult to promote a life style without
acknowledging the relationships among people living together for sometime. Communication was essential
to identify relations among people to accomplish different tasks.


Communication proved handy in the course of persuasion and influence others to keep the human
civilization grow. The task is done even today, though, with different techniques and in a rather complex
world of communication.


Better communication helped people and tribes to command power over others. This phenomenon
is more evident in the fields of conflict and to bring the enemy down. To muster support by using better
communication skills has always been the hallmark of human interactivity.

Social needs

Social needs grow with almost the same pace, human culture and civilization nurture. History
stands as testimony to the fact that the circle of human social needs expands as people try to live together in
more organized manner. Communication is the common most thing which knit societies to fulfill their
desire to rise jointly.


In more advance world, as it is today, it is a piece of information – a piece of communication,
which brings relief to human living in a score of ways. Information about roads, condition, may help you
change your traveling plan, for instance. A small bit of information may have a life long impression on your
future business.

Decision making

And not the least, in present day affairs communication goes long way in helping us in decision
making. Not an individual alone, but families and nations, can draw certain conclusions with the help of
available communication on certain matters which is likely to improve the overall living standards and a
more secure life for all of human beings.

Major Fields of Mass Communication

General Information The main field of mass communication has been to inform people at large about things which are
in their immediate interest. This includes the vast area of news, views and current affairs. Apart of specific
nature of news etc. people are also informed about entertainment which may include sporting events, music
or recreation. To educate masses is also part of mass communication by exploiting all the means at hand to
address a distant and high concentration of individuals.

Public Relations

Although this area of mass communication has assumed new dimensions in the modern world,
keeping relations with various types of public has its traces from ancient history. This area has proved handy
to organized and corporate sectors, which have a defined purpose to achieve by keeping relations with
audience of their choice.


Publicity, which is more known as advertising, is definitely an outcome of modern means of
communication for it largely depends on the technology being exploited to address masses for purely
commercial purposes. So enormous has been the impact of advertising through means of mass
communication that a huge advertising industry has come up offering tens of thousands of jobs of different
nature to people across the world.

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