Difference Between Journalism and Mass Communication

Key Difference – Journalism vs Mass Communication

The key difference between journalism and mass communication is that mass communication is about relaying information to the general public in mass at one specific time, whereas journalism is about conveying information on different topics to the literate public on different occasions.


Over the years the word communication has undergone many changes with the technological innovations and revolutions that have been taking place all over the world. In the ancient past, people communicated through simple methods such as fire signals, drums, and messages through birds. Although communication was a part of their daily lifestyles, there was a major issue in timing; sometimes people were unable to send the message at the given or expected time. Thus, there was a problem in sending and receiving messages at the correct time, relaying the necessary purpose. However, with the technological development over the past decades, the world has been able to experience a great improvement in terms of communication. People, with time, moved from natural ways of communicating into many different avenues such as telegrams, postcards, post, land phones, mobile phones, email and the internet.

Journalism and mass communication both are new avenues of this vast communication that we’ve been talking about. They both complete the task of exchanging messages with the public, but journalism and mass communication differ in terms of their concentration area.

Difference Between Journalism and Mass Communication

What is the difference between Journalism and Mass Communication?

Here, we will be looking at some of the areas that create the difference between Journalism and Mass Communication.


Journalism: Journalism is defined as,

  • “The activity or profession of writing for newspapers, magazines, or news websites or preparing news to be broadcast.” (Oxford Dictionary)
  • “The work of collecting, writing, and publishing news stories and articles in newspapers and magazines or broadcasting them on the radio and television.” (Cambridge Dictionary)

Mass Communication: Mass Communication is defined as,

  • “The imparting or exchanging of information on a large scale to a wide range of people.” (Oxford Dictionary)
  • “Something such as television or the internet that means that a message, story, etc. can be communicated to a large number of people at the same time” (Cambridge Dictionary)


Mass Communication:  Mass Communication is a part of journalism that has a direct connection with all types of media. For example, we can find mass communication in any place with any sort of media such as television, radio, internet, mobile phones, newspapers, and magazines, etc. Basically, mass communication is a type of communication that gives news or any sort of information, in any area, to literate and non-literate public. Therefore, mass communication does not target a specific group of people or medium, yet what is essential in mass communication is that there should, be a medium in order for it to communicate with the public or people.

Journalism: Journalism, on the other hand, is another area of communication, in which the recipients of the information are given a prominent place. Unlike in mass communication, we cannot say that medium is the most significant feature of journalism. Journalism mainly concentrates on one specific area or a target group. It mainly targets literate people (people who can read) since journalism mainly involves printed media. Journalism basically involves electronic media, print media or cyber media.

Fiction vs Non-Fiction

Mass Communication:  Mass communication can be about fiction and non-fiction since it involves different areas such as journalism, video and audio production, advertising, event management and even public relations. Thus it involves producing something without being bound to one specific area. You can always be imaginative and creative and if you feel that the earlier production needs more inputs you always have the freedom to change it.

Journalism: Journalism, however, is always about non-fiction. This is because journalism mainly involves reporting events and incidents that actually take place in the society.

Skills Needed

Journalism: A journalist is usually a good writer and/or commenter; he or she should be able to research about a specific topic and create his or her work based on accurate information. Journalism involves less creativity and more accuracy and precision.  A journalist should always keep him or her self-updated with the current affairs, read at least one or more newspapers every day and have a way with the world of politics, culture, business, crime and even entertainment news.

Mass Communication: A person who is involved in mass communication needs more or less the same skill set since journalism is also a part of mass communication. However, mass communication may also require a good imagination and creative writing skills.

Journalism vs Mass Communication Conclusion

Mass communication and journalism differ based on their medium, audience, and target as well as on the type of information. The main target of mass communication is to send the information to the public, and it does not concentrate on who and where. Therefore, mass communication is all about exchanging messages through a medium, whereas journalism is about exchanging information based on news, views or ideas. In addition, mass communication comprises of both fiction and non-fiction whereas journalism mainly deals with non-fiction. The skills needed in these fields also differ according to the above-mentioned factors. In sum, mass Communication is about relaying information to the general public in a mass angle at one specific time, whereas journalism is about conveying information on different topics to the literate public in different occasions.

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