Characteristics of Mass Communication
Five characteristics of mass communication have been identified by Cambridge University’s John Thompson.
Firstly, it “comprises both technical and institutional methods of production and distribution”. This is evident throughout the history of the media, from print to the Internet, each suitable for commercial utility.
Secondly, it involves the “COM modification of symbolic forms” as the production of materials relies on its ability to manufacture and sell large quantities of the work. Just as radio stations rely on its time sold to advertisements, newspapers rely for the same reasons on its space.
Mass communication’s third characteristic is the “separate contexts between the production and reception of information”, while the fourth is in its “reach to those ‘far removed’ in time and space, in comparison to the producers”.
Mass communication, which involves “information distribution”. This is a “one to many” form of communication, whereby products are mass produced and disseminated to a great quantity of audiences.
Mass Communication is the term used to describe the academic study of various means by which individuals and entities relay information to large segments of the population all at once through mass media.
In the United States, many university journalism departments evolved into schools or colleges of mass communication or “journalism and mass communication,” as reflected in the names of two major academic organizations. In addition to studying practical skills of journalism, public relations or advertising, students also may major in “mass communication” or “mass communication research.”
The latter is often the title given to doctoral studies in such schools, whether the focus of the student’s research is journalism practice, history, law or media effects. Departmental structures within such colleges may separate research and instruction in professional or technical aspects of newspaper and magazine publishing, radio, television, and film. Mass communication research includes media institutions and processes, such as diffusion of information, and media effects, such as persuasion or manipulation of public opinion.
With the Internet’s increased role in delivering news and information, mass communication studies — and media organizations — have increasingly focused on the convergence of publishing, broadcasting and digital communication.