The key difference between communication and mass communication is that communication refers to the overall exchange of a message or information whereas mass communication refers to the exchange of a message or information through mass media to a large audience.
Communication is the foundation of all social intercourse, and it is the basis of society. The main factor for having good or bad interpersonal relationships in society is communication. Communication is a natural phenomenon of life, starting with a cry of the baby, and nobody can avoid it. Those who avoid it are likely to create problems for themselves and for others.
1. Overview and Key Difference
2. What is Communication
3. What is Mass Communication
4. Relationship Between Communication and Mass Communication
5. Side by Side Comparison – Communication vs Mass Communication in Tabular Form
What is Communication?
Communication refers to transmitting information from one person, place or group to another. Each instance of communication has at least a sender, message and a recipient. What happens basically is that the sender encodes the message in a suitable communication channel while the recipient decodes the message and understand. Moreover, this transfer can be affected by many things such as emotions, information, the medium used to communicate and current situation etc. Further, the singular form of communication signifies the act of communicating, whereas the plural form communications refer to the media or the means of communication.
A message can be transmitted as verbal and non-verbal communication, i.e., in speech or writing. There are different ways of communication: verbal (spoken), non-verbal (body language, gestures), written and visualizations (graphics and charts). In communication, we should always try to minimize misunderstandings and barriers or disturbances at each level of communication. In effective communication, the communicator understands the audience, he or she is able to select the best communication channel; he or she encodes the message to the receiver, making sure that there are no misunderstandings. Furthermore, if it involves more than one recipient, the chances of misinterpreting or misunderstanding the message also increase.
Selecting a communication channel is also vital in communication as there are multiple communication channels including of face to face conversations, text messages, phone calls, internet, etc. in today’s world.
What is Mass Communication?
Mass communication refers to a process of exchanging information to a large population through a diverse array of media technologies. Generally, in mass communication, the sender of the message is often a person from a media organization and the recipient is a large audience. The audience tends to be distant, diverse and different in size based on the medium and the message. Another characteristic of mass communication is that it is profit-driven, and the responses or feedbacks are very limited. Furthermore, due to the detached nature of mass communication, participants are not equally present during the conveying of information.
Mass communication got closer to people at an increasingly rapid pace through advanced technologies. Television, radio, news, newspapers, social media, internet, and photographs are forms of mass communication we see today. When the necessity of mass communication was developed around the world, fields like journalism, publishing and public relations also expanded with time.
What is the Relationship Between Communication and Mass Communication
- We can consider mass communication as a value addition to communication, as it is the best way to transmit a message to a larger audience.
What is the Difference Between Communication and Mass Communication?
The key difference between communication and mass communication is that communication refers to transmitting a message to one or more recipient, whereas mass communication is transmitting a message to a large audience through mass media. In other terms, communication refers to the overall exchanging of a message, while mass communication refers to exchanging of a message through media.
Communication is the basis of society, and it came with the evolvement of mankind. However, mass communication developed with the time and the advancement of technology. Basically, five senses of mankind are important in communication, whereas technical devices are neccessary for mass communication. In general, communication may not have a specific objective, whereas mass communication generally has a specific objective. Another significant difference between communication and mass communication is that feedbacks are important characteristics in communication, whereas feedback is very limited and delayed in mass communication.
Summary – Communication vs Mass Communication
The key difference between communication and mass communication is that communication is transmitting a message to one or more recipient, whereas mass communication is transmitting a message to a large audience through mass media. In brief, mass communication is part of communication.
1. “Defining Mass Communication | Introduction to Communication.” Lumen Learning, Available here.