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Communication Theory

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  • September 2009
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Communication theory has been highly debatable topic, with many theorists developing different methods and models of communication. Varying from the simplistic to the overly complex, the analysis of communication models is becoming more and more frequent, not to mention popular within academics. Two particular models are Shannon and Weavers model and George Gerbners model of communication, two similar and yet very different methods of calculating the theory of communication.

Shannon and Weavers theory of communication relies mainly upon mathematics and it is widely accepted as one of the pioneering studies out of which the Communication theory has grown (Fisk, 1990). This model is one of the most basic yet efficient and its main concern is with the physical process of transmitting messages. Having generated their theory during WW2, Shannon & Weavers main goal was efficiency, especially being efficient in sending large amounts of information along a channel and how to measure the capacity of any given channel (although at the time they mainly focussed on telephone cables and radio waves, it is claimed that their theory and model can be applied to any form of communication).

Figure 1. Shannon and Weavers model of communication

This model is easy to understand and is very simplistic. An event happens and so in turn becomes the information source. This information is then sent out on a transmitter, whether it is radio waves, cables or even just a person’s mouth. The transmitter then sends a signal through a channel where is it received and passed to a receiver, say a telephone handset, and then the destination is the person on the other end of the phone line hearing the message, or the viewing the television or listening to another person. The noise inclusion is to make up for any noise that is sent through to the receiver without the sender intending for those sounds to be incorporated into that information source – this can be such things...

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