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A look at mass communication what it entails and its impact today

Mass communication is regularly associated with media influence or media effects, and media studies. Mass communication is a branch of social science and a subfield of communication studies or communication.

The history of communication stretches from prehistoric forms of art and writing through modern communication methods such as the Internet.

Mass communication began when humans could transmit messages from a single source to multiple receivers. Mass communication has moved from theories such as the hypodermic needle model or magic bullet theory through more modern theories such as computer-mediated communication.

In the United States, the study of mass communication is often associated with the practical applications of journalism Print mediatelevision and radio broadcastingfilmpublic relationsor advertising. With the diversification of media options, the study of communication has extended to include social media and new mediawhich have stronger feedback models than traditional media sources.

While the field of mass communication is continually evolving, the following four fields are generally considered the major areas of study within mass communication.

Mass communication

They exist in different forms and configurations at different schools or universities, but are in some form practiced at most institutions that study mass communication. Advertising, in relation to mass communication, refers to marketing a product or service in a persuasive manner that encourages the audience to buy the product or use the service.

Because advertising generally takes place through some form of mass mediasuch as televisionstudying the effects and methods of advertising is relevant to the study of mass communication. Advertising is the paid, impersonal, one-way marketing of persuasive information from a sponsor.

Through mass communication channels, the sponsor promotes the adoption of goods, services or ideas. Advertisers have full control of the message being sent to their audience. In addition, it offers some unique characteristics because of its specialty in nature.

Cultivation Theory

Large Number of Audience The foremost feature of mass communication is that it has large number of audience. No other communication gets as many receivers as it gets. Heterogeneous Audience Mass Communication is not only composed of a large number of audiences but also aims to heterogeneous audience. The heterogeneity here means that the audience may belong to different races, groups, section, cultures etc.

Political Agenda Setting and the Mass Media

Scattered Audience The audiences of Mass Communication are not organized in a certain area rather they are highly scattered in different geographical areas. The receivers of message of mass communication may stay any place of the country and even any place of the world.

Wide Area The area of Mass Communication is wider than any other communication systems. Use of Channel Mass Communication system uses various types of mass media channels such as-radio, television, newspapers, magazines etc. Use of Common Message Another unique characteristic of mass communication is that it sends the same message simultaneously to a large number of audiences staying far away from each other.

If the audiences have the proper access to the media used by the sender they can easily get message wherever they stay in the world. No Direct Feedback Mass Communication does not produce any direct feedback. The reaction of audience cannot be known quickly here. Outward Flow The flow of message in mass communication is outward, not inward. The basic objective of mass communication is also to send message to the people outside the organization who say far away.

Use of Technology Mass Communication system uses modern technology in the process of production and dissemination of the message to be sent. Journalism Journalism, is the collection, verification, presentation, and editing of news for presentation through the media, in this sense, refers to the study of the product and production of news. The study of journalism involves looking at how news is produced, and how it is disseminated to the public through mass mediaoutlets such as newspapersnews channelradio stationtelevision stationand more recently, e-readers and smartphones.

The information provided pertains to current events, trends, issues, and people. Public relations Public relations is the process of providing information to the public in order to present a specific view of a product or organization.

Public relations differs from advertising in that it is less obtrusive, and aimed at providing a more comprehensive opinion to a large audience in order to shape public opinion.

Unlike advertising, public relations professionals only have control until the message is related to media gatekeepers who decide where to pass the information on to the audience. Communication theory addresses the processes and mechanisms that allow communication to take place. Cultivation theorydeveloped by George Gerbner and Marshall McLuhandiscusses the long-term effects of watching television, and hypothesizes that the more television an individual consumes, the more likely that person is to believe the real world is similar to what they have seen on television.

This theory is relevant to mass communication because it hypothesizes a look at mass communication what it entails and its impact today mass media have the power to shape people's opinions, as well as relay the opinion that is believed to be the majority opinion.

Both quantitative and qualitative methods have been used in the study of mass communication. The main focus of mass communication research is to learn how the content of mass communication affects the attitudes, opinions, emotions, and ultimately behaviors of the people who receive the message. Several prominent methods of study are as follows: This quantitative method regularly involves exposing participants to various media content and recording their reactions.

To show causation, mass communication researchers must isolate the variable they are studying, show that it occurs before the observed effect, and that it is the only variable that could cause the observed effect. Surveyanother quantitative method, involves asking individuals to respond to a set of questions in order to generalize their responses to a larger population. Content analysis sometimes known as textual analysis refers to the process of identifying categorial properties of a piece of communication, such as a newspaper articlebook, television program, film, or broadcast news script.

This process allows researchers to see what the content of communication looks like. A qualitative method known as ethnography allows a researcher to immerse themselves into a culture to observe and record the qualities of communication that exist there. Professional organizations[ edit ] The Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication [11] is the major membership organization for academics in the field, offering regional and national conferences and refereed publications.

The International Communication Association [12] and National Communication Association formerly the Speech Communication Association are also prominent professional organizations. Each of these organizations publishes a different refereed academic journal that reflects the research that is being performed in the field of mass communication.