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What Is Mass Communication? - Definition & Theories

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  • 0:01 Definition
  • 0:51 Examples
  • 1:12 Theories
  • 3:54 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley
Mass communication plays an influential role in modern society. In this lesson, you'll learn what mass communication is and about some theories related to it. You'll also have a chance to take a short quiz after the lesson.

Mass Communication: Definition

Mass communication is a process in which a person, group of people, or an organization sends a message through a channel of communication to a large group of anonymous and heterogeneous people and organizations. You can think of a large group of anonymous and heterogeneous people as either the general public or a segment of the general public. Channels of communication include broadcast television, radio, social media, and print. The sender of the message is usually a professional communicator that often represents an organization. Mass communication is an expensive process. Unlike interpersonal communication, feedback for mass communication is usually slow and indirect.

Examples

The following are some types of mass communication:

  • Advertising, which consists of communications attempting to induce purchasing behavior
  • Journalism, such as news
  • Public relations, which is communication intended to influence public opinion on a product or organization
  • Politics (for example, campaigning)

Theories of Mass Communication

There are too many theories of mass communication to discuss all of them here, but let's take a look at a few of them:

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