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Introduction to Mass Communication

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Having understood elements of communication, their functions and placement in various models, it is time
to complete an other chapter on types and forms of communication before resuming our discussions on
various other areas of mass communication for a detailed study.

Types of communication

Broadly speaking, whole human communication could be classified into two distinct parts.
Intra personal communicationInter personal communication
Intra personal communication The part of communication in which self of a human being is involved only and the
communication is confined to one human entity. This means that all the elements which come into action
in a given piece of communication are located within the self of an individual. A message originating from
source part of the brain travels through the channel of nerves to reach another location, however close it
may be to the point of origin of message, where it is interpreted and understood as receiver.
All the process of meditation, thinking, monologue and even dreaming while asleep are all but examples of
intra communication.

Inter personal communication

This part of communication belongs to involving two or more individuals for exchange of
information. Since this part is experienced more due to its vastness, it is further classified in many

Inter personal

The simplest form in which more than one individual communicate to each other

Group Communication

More often people are seen exchanging views with almost all the participants enjoying an equal
status on one count or the other. Like all the players of a hockey team, class-fellows, doctors, teachers,
bureaucrats, politicians, economists etc.

Organizational communication

In this part, communication usually takes place on vertical lines. For instance, a company director is
passing on instructions to managers who would be guiding accordingly to field officers and the relevant
other field staff. An army general may not be talking to lowest rank men in khaki but would follow the
chain of organizational command to deliver his message to the last rank people. Be it a corporate sector,
NGO, a political party, an educational institution, the communication process would strictly follow the
essentials of the organizational communication.

Mass Communication

In this category we refer to the communication originating from one source and meant for all
possible audience irrespective of distance, cast, creed, religion, nationality and beyond. The mass
communication involves use of technology for it is not possible to carry message to a very high number of
receivers with out the use of certain devices or techniques. All other types of communication may take place
when the source is coming across receivers without involving technology. That is why more research and
investment has gone into handling the mass communication

Forms of communication

In another way we can examine the communication process by dividing it into different forms of
exchanging messages.
Non verbal
Verbal All the messages said or written in words make part of the verbal communication. This way, all that
appears as text in books, magazines and newspapers is part of verbal communication. One can guess the
size of an industry in the area of mass communication based on verbal communication.
Likewise, all the words heard on radio, television, telephone or any other public address system are also part
of verbal communication. Again, the industry and technology based on verbal communication is enormous
in size and value as well.
One amazing part of the verbal communication is the availability of events of significance in history. Little
is understood about the past from the available artifacts but a great deal of human civilization, growth and
conflict is available in the form of verbal communication. The spread of religions and sharing of most
scientific work is also due to the verbal communication over the centuries which recorded facts, sentiments
and event of common human interest.
It is on the basis of verbal communication that the world has seen great poets, writers, playwrights, historian
and newsmen. This also proves at what great scale the verbal communication has created job opportunities.
In modern days, people having verbal communication skills are in high demand, especially with the fast
expanding media all across the globe.

Non verbal

Part of human communication involving other than written or spoken words is referred to as non
verbal communication. It involves human senses – sight, taste, touch, hearing and smelling.
As a matter of fact about 90 per cent communication among human beings takes place through their senses
and the rest by the use of words as languages.

Symbols, signs

Emblems, gestures, symbols and signs make more vivid and strong communication as compared to
words which are often difficult to decipher.
For instance making a victory sign by politicians, army generals, sportspersons and leaders in general at the
time of defeating enemy is easily understood even by the illiterate. If the same feeling is expressed in words,
many may not come even close to understanding what it is.
The traffic signals, red-cross mark and the symbol of dove are but few illustrations to make people around
understand what a message stands far.


For practical purposes, however, the use of verbal and non verbal makes a very strong piece of
communication. One may see a match on TV but an enthusiast commentator may relish the joy if your
favorite team is winning the game. Similarly, feature films, documentaries and dramas on mini screen stand
for more effective pieces of communication than if only one for of communication is brought into use.
Even the newspapers and magazines, which are more to bank on verbal communication, carry so much of
non verbal communication in the form of images, graphics and maps.
The research journals also exploit the verbal-non verbal combination to share and advance the cause of
scientific developments. In fact it has become rather impossible to find a newspaper and magazine, even
books, which do not use non verbal communication to explain various aspects of daily life.

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