Definition on Communication Theories Terms

Topics: Mass media, Media studies, Media Pages: 6 (1159 words) Published: February 5, 2011


Based on website nwlink, 2010, communication is the exchange and flow of information and ideas from one person to another; it involves a sender transmitting an idea, information, or feeling to a receiver (U.S. Army, 1983)

Communication also can be defined as a message transmission from a source to a receiver and it will occurs when a source sends a message via a medium to the receiver producing some effect (Baran, 2002)

As stated in Baran (2002, p. 4), Harold Lasswell (1948) said that “a convenient way to describe communication is to answer these questions: •Who?
Says what?
In which channel?
To whom?
With what effect?”


As stated in Severin and Tankard, Jr. (2001, p. 4) “mass communication could be defined by three characteristics: 1.It is directed toward relatively large, heterogeneous, and anonymous audiences. 2.Messages are transmitted publicly, are often timed to reach most audience members simultaneously, and are transient in character. 3.The communicator tends to be or operate within a complex organization that may involve great expense” (Wright, 1959, p. 15)


Mass media can be defined as a thought of a source of the news and entertainment. They carry messages of persuasion. Thought it is often overlooked, mass media is how mass messages bind people into communities and also into the nations. It is pervasive in modern life. Through mass media, people can learn almost everything they knew about the world beyond their immediate environs. If it works well, people will be informed and involved citizenry is possible in modern democracy. The mass media is needed so that people can express their ideas widely. Without mass media, the expression would be limited. Powerful forces will use mass media to influence people with their ideologies and also for their commercial purposes. The media are the main tools for propagandists, advertisers and other persuaders (Vivian, 1999).


Based on Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (2000, p.807), mainstream can be defined as “the ideas and opinions that are thought to be normal because they are shared by most people; the people whose ideas and opinions are most accepted”.

Therefore, from my understanding and based on website Wikipedia (2011), mainstream media can be referred as media who disseminated news information via the largest distribution channels and they represented what the majority of media consumers are likely to encounter. Mainstream media also indicate those media who generally reflective of the predominant current thought, activity and influence.

The example of mainstream media are:
1)Newspaper: Utusan Malaysia, Berita Harian as compared to KOSMO, Harian Metro 2)TV Stations: RTM, TV3 as compared to 8TV and NTV7.


According to Vivian (1999), alternative media is a new emerging media which narrowly focused as an advertising vehicles. It is the latest trend in demassification has advertisers producing their own media to carry their messages by mail to their potential customers who through computer sorting and other mechanisms, are more precisely targeted than magazines, newspapers, television and radio could ever do. This is what they call the alternative media, it is not impossible the revenue base for magazines, newspapers, radio and television will decline.

The example of the new alternative media includes:
a)Flyers and direct mail catalogs send to the selected address b)Television commercials at the point of purchase such as big screens in shopping malls c)Place based media such magazines designed for distribution only in saloon or clinics d)Web advertisement via the popular social networking site such as Facebook, Google and Yahoo Messenger e)Telemarketing in which salespeople make their pitches by telephone to the respective individual by statistical profiles to be good potential...
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