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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.

Why we need communication?

Persuasion & Influence
Social needs

Categorization of Communication

Intra personal Communication
Inter personal Communication
Organizational Communication
Group Communication
Mass Communication

Elements of communication



From writing letters to very many people on one subject, the next move was to write books on
matters of social life, philosophies, religion, health and scientific advancements. The hand-written books
continued to rule the world for centuries by taking views of writers to hundreds and thousands of people
across countries. For instance, the central church in ROME had employed hundreds of clerics for the
purpose of writing copies of bible for taking the message of Christianity to its followers. Almost the same
had been the practice by other religions to convey their teachings to the masses by hand-written copies of
the holy inscriptions. Many a museums in the world are proud to have some hand-written copies of
religious or scientific works done centuries ago.


Major breakthrough in mass communication occurred when printing process was invented. The
revolutionary invention makes an interesting study:
The printing press is a mechanical device for printing many copies of a text paper. First invented in China in
1041, the printing press as we know it today was invented in the West by a German goldsmith, Johann
Gutenberg in the 1440s. Dutch Laurens Janszoon Coster has also been credited with this invention.
Block Printing
Printing Press 􀃆 Johannes Gottenberg, 15th century

Communication Model

Communication experts have long been striving to arrange elements of communication into some
graphic arrangement so that all the complexities of communication may come in view in a glance. But
before we try to examine them lets try to understand what a model is.

What is a Model?

A model is a systematic representation of an object or event in idealized and abstract form. Models
are somewhat arbitrary by their nature.
Communication models are merely pictures; they’re even distorting pictures, because they stop or
freeze an essentially dynamic interactive or transitive process into a static picture.
Models are metaphors. They allow us to see one thing in terms of another.

Shannon-Weaver’s Model of Communication

The Shannon-Weaver’s model is typical of what are often referred to as transmission models of
communication. Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver were two different entities that jointly produced a
model known after their names.
Claude Shannon and Warren Weaver produced a general model of communication:
This model is now known after them as the Shannon-Weaver’s Model. Although they were principally
concerned with communication technology, their model has become one which is frequently introduced to
students of human communication early in their study.
The Shannon-Weaver’s Model (1947) proposes that all communication processes must include following six

Lasswell Formula (1948)

Who?-------------------- Sender/ Communicator
Says what?------------------ Message
Message Channel Receiver Effect
Says What? In What
To Whom? With what
In what channel? ------------- Channel
To whom? -------------- Receiver
With what effect? ------------ Effect

Schramm-Osgood’s Interactive Model, 1954
a. Background

Wilbur Schramm (1954) was one of the first to alter the mathematical model of Shannon and
Weaver. He conceived of decoding and encoding as activities maintained simultaneously by sender and
receiver; he also made provisions for a two-way interchange of messages. Notice also the inclusion of an
“interpreter” as an abstract representation of the problem of meaning.

The strong points

1. This model provided the additional notion of a “field of experience,” or the psychological frame of
reference; this refers to the type of orientation or attitudes that interacting people maintain toward each
2. Included Feedback Communication is reciprocal, two-way, even though the feedback may be delayed.
Some of these methods of communication are very direct, as when you talk in direct response to
Others are only moderately direct; you might squirm when a speaker drones on and on, wrinkle your
nose and scratch your head when a message is too abstract, or shift your body position when you
think it’s your turn to talk.
Still other kinds of feedback are completely indirect.

Source Destination
Encoder Decoder
Field of Experience Field of Experience


Berlo's S-M-C-R Model (1960)

David Berlo's SMCR Model (1960) proposes that there are five elements within both the
source/encoder and the receiver/decoder which will affect fidelity.
Two are encoding skills:
- speaking
- writing
Two are decoding skills:
- listening
- reading
The fifth is crucial to both encoding and decoding:
- thought or reasoning


Physical Barrier
Psychological Barrier
Semantic Barrier

Forms of communication

In another way we can examine the communication process by dividing it into different forms of
exchanging messages.
Non verbal

Message – Root of Communication

Message in communication holds the key in determining what a piece of communication is all
about. A slight change at the end from where a message is originating may lead to a yawning difference in
understanding it at the end of receiver.


Messages are generally divided into two categories:
Non verbal

Verbal Message

A message composed in words – spoken or written – fall in this category. All we read in
newspapers, magazines and books as well as listen to fellow beings face to face or radio, TV, telephone etc
are clear examples of verbal messages.
Linguistic Barrier
Standard Meaning’s Problem
Written Message Confusion
Static Evaluation

Non Verbal Message

Many messages we come across in our daily life are non verbal – not in words by in gestures,
symbols, signs etc. Here we will see how this part of communication takes place.
Signs and Symbols
Body Gestures (Language)
Voice Accentuation

Composition of a Message

Use of Standard language
Brevity of a message

Effects of communication

- Physical discoveries.
- New ideas.
Social growth
Helping out others

Communication and Culture

Before we start to examine as what factors are responsible to generate this debate, it seems only
logical that we understand what culture is.
Though no definition of culture exists on which all will agree, the one which is close to everyone’s belief is
the way people live, or say the living style of people of a particular area is denoted as their culture. This
includes their living habits, eating and cooking style, dressing up, language they speak in, social values and
traditions they observe along with the religion they follow. Well, for a student of communication – who
believes that a slight change on part of the sender or receiver may effect a huge change in the meaning of a
message – the definition of culture and its little explanation offers only an embarrassing situation for there is
plenty in the name of change that can vary (or destroy) the meaning and hence the process of
communication may face hurdles.


The process of passing on culture from one generation to the next is referred to as enculturation.


The process of adopting or learning the rules and norms of a culture different from one’s own
native culture is acculturation.

Culture/ Cultural Shock

The anxiety and feelings felt when people have to operate within an entirely different culture or
social environment.

Behaviours of language in communication:

Static meanings.
Multiple meanings.

Stereotyping – a typical hurdle in mass communication

Stereotypes are ideas held by some individuals about members of particular groups, based solely on
their attitude. They are often used in a negative or prejudicial sense and are frequently used to justify certain
discriminatory behaviors.
Stereotypes are a generalization of characteristics; they reduce complexity, provide stability and also can
offer opportunities to identify themselves with others.
In common practice we assume a certain attitude by a group of people and start using our assumption as a
reality and thereafter all our analysis are based on our assumption. Problem is compounded when listeners
(receivers) also start taking the assumption for granted and so a wrong done once continues to cast shadows
in our communication which at times results in complete disaster.

Stereotype Groups

Religious beliefs
Social class


Propaganda means to hammer that side of an issue which only suits one party.

Newspapers/ magazines

It took almost two hundred years that the concept of regular publication appeared in the form of
newspapers. There are conflicting ideas as who brought out the first newspaper in the world and how long
it had sustained but according to the World Association of Newspapers, the first titled English language
private newspaper, The Corrant, was first published in London in 1621.
The first English daily newspaper, the Daily Courant, was founded by Samuel Buckley on 11 March 1702.
In 1631 The Gazette, the first French newspaper was founded. In 1690, Public Occurrences in Boston
became the first newspaper published in America. In 1803, just 15 years after the first British penal colony
was established, Australia's military government published the Sydney Gazette and the New South Wales
Advertiser, Australia's first newspapers.

Newspapers in South Asia
Colonial Journalism

William Bolts, an ex-employee of the British East India Company attempted to start the first
newspaper in India in 1776. Bolts had to beat a retreat under the disapproving gaze of the Court of
Directors of the Company.


The Hickey's Bengal Gazette or the Calcutta General Advertiser was started by James Augustus
Hickey in 1780 and is regarded as the first regular publication from the Indian soil.


B.Messink and Peter Reed were pliant publishers of the India Gazette.
Bengal Journal.
Oriental Magazine of Calcutta Amusement.


The Madras Courier was started in 1785 in the southern stronghold of Madras. Richard Johnson, its
founder, was a government printer.
Madras got its second newspaper when, in 1791, Hugh Boyd, who was the editor of the Courier quit and
founded the Hurkaru.

Urdu Press

In 1822 the Persian weekly Jam-e-Jahan Numa was first time published in Urdu.
On January 14, 1850 Munshi Harsukh Rai started weekly Kohinoor. With a circulation of only 350 it was the
largest circulated newspaper of that time.
Urdu Guide was the first daily newspaper, which was started by Maulvi Kabeeruddin from Kolkata in 1858.
In the very same year as a second daily Roznamcha-e-Punjab started from Lahore.
Zameendar, which was the best newspaper of that time, was started in 1903 from Lahore.


A magazine is a periodical publication containing a variety of articles, generally financed by
advertising, purchased by readers, or both.


Samuel F. B. Morse
May 14, 1844
Morse Code
Message sent from Baltimore to Washington D.C.
Message was: “What hath God wrought?”


Alexander Graham Bell
March 7, 1876
Bell's interest in telephony was primarily derived from his background in vocal physiology and his speech
instruction to the deaf. His breakthrough experiment occurred on June 2, 1875. He and his assistant,
Thomas Watson, were working on a harmonic telegraph. When a reed stuck on Watson's transmitter an
intermittent current was converted to a continuous current. Bell was able to hear the sound on his receiver
confirming his belief that sound could be transmitted and reconverted through an electric wire by using a
continuous electric current.
The original telephone design that Bell patented was much different than the phone we know today. In a
real sense, it was just a modified version of a telegraph. The primary difference was that it could transmit
true sound. Bell continued to improve upon his design. After two years, he created a magnetic telephone
which was the precursor to modern phones. This design consisted of a transmitter, receiver, and a magnet.
The transmitter and receiver each contained a diaphragm, which is a metal disk. During a phone call, the
vibrations of the caller's voice caused the diaphragm in the transmitter to move. This motion was
transferred along the phone line to the receiver. The receiving diaphragm began vibrating thereby producing
sound and completing the call.


By 1935, message routing was the last great barrier to full automation. Large telegraphy providers
began to develop systems that used telephone-like rotary dialing to connect teletypes. These machines were
called "telex". Telex machines first performed rotary-telephone-style pulse dialing, and then sent baud dots
code. This "type A" telex routing functionally automated message routing.
The first wide-coverage telex network was implemented in Germany during the 1930s. The network was
used to communicate within the government. At the then-blinding rate of 45.5 bits per second, up to 25
telex channels could share a single long-distance telephone channel, making telex the least expensive
method of reliable long-distance communication.

Press laws

Press Laws are the laws concerning the licensing of books and the liberty of expression in all
products of the printing-press, especially newspapers. The liberty of the press has always been regarded by
political writers as of supreme importance.
Before the invention of printing, the Church assumed the right to control the expression of all opinion
distasteful to her. The Church and universities soon found the output of books beyond their control. In
1496 Pope Alexander VI began to be restrictive, and in 1501 he issued a bill against unlicensed printing,
which introduced the principle of censorship. Between 1524 and 1548 the Imperial Diet in Germany drew
up various stringent regulations; and in France, prohibited by edict, under penalty of death, the printing of


Censorship was either restrictive or corrective, i.e., it interfered to restrict or prevent publication, or
it enforced penalties after publication. Repression of free discussion was regarded as so necessary a part of
government that Sir Thomas More in his Utopia makes it punishable with death for a private individual to
criticize the conduct of the ruling power.
Under Elizabeth the Star Chamber assumed the right to confine printing to London, Oxford and
Cambridge, to limit the number of printers and presses, to prohibit all publications issued without proper
license, and to enter houses to search for unlicensed presses and publications.

Press Council of Pakistan

The law states that the Code, which deal with issues as morality, plagiarism, fairness, accuracy,
privacy, sensationalism, confidentiality and privilege, will allow journalists to operate “in accordance with
the canons of decency, principles of professional conduct and precepts of freedom and responsibility, to
serve the public interest by ensuring an unobstructed flow of news and views to the people envisaging that
honesty, accuracy, objectivity and fairness shall be the guidelines for the press while serving the public
The Council will be an independent corporate entity, with its own staff, secretariat and budget and will be
financed through an annual governmental grant-in-aid as well as other grants and donations and such fees
as it may levy from registered newspapers and news agencies. This council is considered to be a euphemistic
connotation of censorship.

Freedom of Information Ordinance 2002

The freedom of information ordinance introduced in 2002 contains some positive features
acknowledging citizens right to know. However, the 21st day time frame for the release of information and
inclusion of courts and tribunals, among those require disclosing information mar its true spirit. Large
amounts of information are also not subject to disclosure under the ordinance, largely undermining the
public’s right to know. Instead of applying to all records held by public bodies, the ordinance provides a,
restrictive list of public records subject to disclosure.
Article 19 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, states:
"Everyone has the right to freedom of opinion and expression; the right includes freedom to hold opinions without interference
and to seek, receive and impart information and ideas through any media regardless of frontiers."

Industrialization of Mass Media/ Print Media

Digital Technology
Lithography – written on stones
Offset Printing
Photo Offset Printing
Desktop Publishing

Renaissance and Scientific Revolution: Role of Print Media

In the 13th century a rediscovery of Greek and Roman literature occurred across Europe that
eventually led to the development of the humanist movement in the next century. In addition to
emphasizing Greek and Latin scholarship, humanists believed that each individual had significance within
society. The growth of an interest in humanism led to the changes in the arts and sciences that form
common conceptions of the Renaissance.

Revival of ideas spread through print

The 14th century to the 16th century – during which time printing process was invented and which
led to pace up the print media communication - was a period of economic flux in Europe; the most
extensive changes took place in Italy. After the death of King Frederick II in 1250, emperors lost power in
Italy and throughout Europe; none of Frederick's successors equaled him. Power fell instead into the hands
of various popes.
During the Renaissance small Italian republics developed into dictatorships as the centers of power moved
from the landed estates to the cities. Europe itself slowly developed into groups of self-sufficient
compartments. At the height of the Renaissance there were five major city-states in Italy: the combined
state of Naples and Sicily, the Papal State, Florence, Milan, and Venice.

New Ideas and People who emerged:

Nicolaus Copernicus (1473-1543) published Concerning the Revolutions of the Celestial Spheres in 1543
argued for the heliocentric theory of the solar system.
Andreas Vesalius (1514-1564) published De Humani Corporis Fabrica (On the Fabric of the Human Body)
(1543), which discredited Galen's views. He found that the circulation of blood resolved from
pumping of the heart. He also assembled the first human skeleton from cutting open cadavers.
William Gilbert (1544-1603) published On the Magnet and Magnetic Bodies and That Great Magnet the
in 1600.
Tycho Brahe (1546-1601) made extensive and more accurate naked eye observations of the planets
in the late 1500's which became the basic data for Kepler's studies.
Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626), whose greatest scientific experiment amounted to stuffing snow
into a dead chicken, nevertheless penned inductive reasoning, proceeding from observation and
Galileo (1564-1642) improved the telescope and made several astonishing (for the time)
astronomical observations such as the phases of Venus and the moons of Jupiter, which he
published in 1610. He developed the laws for falling bodies based on pioneering quantitative
experiments which he analyzed mathematically.
Johannes Kepler (1571-1630) published the first two of his three laws of planetary motion in 1609.
William Harvey (1578-1657) demonstrated that blood circulates via dissections and various other
experimental techniques.
René Descartes (1596-1650) pioneered deductive reasoning, publishing in 1637 Discourse on Method.
Antony van Leeuwenhoek (1632-1723) constructed powerful single lens microscopes and made
extensive observations that he published in about 1660 began to open up the micro-world of
Isaac Newton (1642-1727) built upon the work of Kepler and Galileo. His development of the
calculus opened up new applications of the methods of mathematics to science. He showed that an
inverse square law for gravity explained the elliptical orbits of the planets, and advanced the theory
of Universal Gravitation. Newton believed that scientific theory should be coupled with rigid

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