Communication, the sharing of information, is an important part of human existence.
Gotten from the Latin word “communis”, a word for common or shared understanding, it entails the transfer of knowledge or thoughts to inform and to create understanding amongst ourselves. There are different ways we communicate. Sometimes, we communicate with our response to situations—fear, anxiety, e.t.c—we communicate with our bodies—a shrug, a nod,—and other times we opt for words. You’ll agree that words have proven to be the easiest way to pass information.
Types Of Communication
Since man started to study how he interacts, the different types of communication that take place amongst us have been discovered. The popular ones are:
- Intra-personal communication: Communication within ourselves i.e self-talk.
- Inter-personal communication: Verbal or non-verbal communication between two or more persons.
Thirdly, there’s mass communication which wasn’t much of a concern until societies began to expand and leaders sought a way to bridge the communication gap that came with that expansion.
How Did Mass Communication Start?
In Africa, it started with town criers, burning of bushes, and calling of village meetings. In western societies, it started with scrolls, news sheets, and political pamphlets. Then, a breakthrough happened when Gutenberg introduced the printing press in 1455. With it came magazines and newspapers for the growing literate audience.
Technological advancement saw the advent of the radio by Marconi in 1895, and television by John Logie Baird in 1925. These technologies soon spread across the globe—thanks to commerce and colonization—and sparked our interest in reaching far audiences with our thoughts, cultures, morals, and beliefs.
With the technologies in place and the activity gaining popularity, George Gerbner, in 1967, suggested the word “mass communication”.
What Is Mass Communication?
Mass Communication is the transfer of ideas, thoughts, knowledge to a large and diverse audience with the use of the media. Here, the media is any channel of communication that can reach at least 50 million people at a time.
Also, mass communication is a field of study in social science. It seeks to understand the different segments of audiences in the society, their information needs/interests, what communication techniques capture them, and their response to the messages.
Why Is Mass Communication Important?
Mass communication changes the way we hear, the way we respond, and how we grow. The coming of newspapers, radio, and television has brought governments within the reach of their citizens, and businesses within the reach of their customers.
Mass communication presents us with endless opportunities to improve communication e.g citizen journalism, public relations, advertising, and many others. We can now grow collectively, with the gap greatly breached by fast and reliable information from across the globe to the comfort of our homes.
In conclusion, as long as information communication technologies continue to evolve and humans continue to interact, there will be no boundaries to how far our messages can reach.