An academic study which trains its students to communicate with the general population using media which may be print, audio or video is known as mass communication. The term is used to sharpen one’s skills in both the fields of news reporting and advertising. Journalism is handled in this discipline in such a way that information is blended with media effects to have a strong impression on the mind of the audience. This discipline differs from media studies and communication studies which focus more on theatre, films or other cultural approaches. Publishing, broadcasting and digital communication are taught in this discipline.
Mass communication has many benefits. People from far off places in the globe stay connected to one another thereby shrinking their geographical distances. With the introduction of internet and round the clock news services, people are notified about happenings within minutes of the actual incident. The competition in the market makes the providers strive for their best which is advantageous for the audience.
The term media was first used in 1920s but the concept seemed to have evolved earlier. Invention of printing press in late 15th century capacitated the publication of books and newspapers on a large scale. The electric telegraph which was invented in 1840 enabled distant communication. In 1894, commercial films made their advent. United States began broadcasting in 1920s which heralded the advent of modern radio. Television telecast began in 1936 in Germany and the United Kingdom. Mass media helped in influencing public perceptions in various issues and this helped in changing the society for the better in various aspects.
Associations and Communities
Organizations such as Association for Education in Journalism and Mass Communication, International Communication Association and National Communication Association control the happenings of Mass Communication in the United States.
Functions of Mass Media
Mass media creates awareness among people through reporting information through news channels. The information given depends on the audience interests such as beliefs, values, social norms and experiences. Entertaining, advertising and commercialization are other interesting attributes of mass communication.
In today’s date, communication through internet includes email, bulletin boards, blogging, yahoo, facebook, pop-ups and instant messaging. Television is used for education programs, news channels, sports channels, political and economic channel, weather reports, paid channels and entertainment channels. Newspapers, magazines and books may reach within a country, state, city, neighbourhood, community or a particular campus. Audio transmission through radio is used in announcements, advertisements and music. Movies may include documentary, horror, action, culture, educational and comedy.