Traditional communication is unique in disseminate valuable information

Topics: Communication, Sri Lanka, Media studies Pages: 6 (1502 words) Published: June 1, 2014
Traditional communication is unique in disseminate valuable information

There is often a certain degree of semantic and conceptual
confusion and misapprehension surrounding what constitutes
traditional communication, arising from the use of'traditional' as a qualifier in discussing communication systems generally. The general notion or implication, also arising from this confusion and misapprehension, is often that of outdated or perhaps primitive systems of communication which still have surviving relies in most Third World countries. This same view often envisages traditional systems as being mutually antagonistic to what is generally known as modern systems of communication. But the truth is that

although the systems may be old and different, in their principles, from the new systems introduced from abroad, they remain what essentially sustain the information needs of the rural which represent over 70% of the national populations of most Third World states. In my essay I would like to discuss , How traditional communication is unique in disseminate valuable information. Here I will discuss the subject matter taking examples from Sri Lanka, India, Africa and Egypt.

Traditional
communication is not necessarily a matter of 'age', civilization or 'technology', conflicting with change, but rather a system which can be viewed within a communication continuum of the type
suggested by Ray Browne and reported by Michael Rael
(1977). Browne refers to this continuum as the Cultural Lens' where culture is viewed from a focal perspective which delineates four spectrums: folk, elite, popular and mass. Browne's
categorization is faulty and restrictive from the point of view of a sense of distance created by the 'lens'. It is perhaps more rewarding to view this traditional communication dichotomy from
the point of view of a series of concentric circles with the folk (or traditional) communication occupying the innermost circle and mass communication the outermost circle. With this the limiting sense of distance is replaced by a sense of convergence and sharing of characteristics.

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Thus it is useful to see the- system as traditional from the standpoint of an on-going, long-standing and 'modernized'
(modified) practice. There is also a need to see traditional media systems as those which have defied all efforts by western media to cannibalize them and perhaps supplant them.
These traditional systems are also trusted and the majority of the people seem to believe in what comes out of them and usually use them and supplement them with whatever additional information may filter through opinion leaders about events elsewhere.

There are numerous traditional forms of communication. They can be broadly divided into eleven classes,namely: (i) Idiophones

(ii) Membranophones
(iii) Aerophone
(iv) Symbolography
(v) Signals
(vi) Signs
(vii) Objectifies
(viii) Colour Schemes
(ix) Music
(x) Extra-mundane communication
(xi) Symbolic displays

(i) Idiophones: These are self-sounding instruments or technical wares which produce sound without the addition or use of an
intermediary medium. The sound or message emanates from the
materials from which the instruments are made and they could be shaken, scratched, struck, pricked (pulled) or pressed with the feet. In this group we have the gong, woodlock, wooden drum, bell and rattle,

ii) Membranophones: These are media on which sound is
produced through the vibration of membranes. They include all varieties of skin or leather drum. These drums are beaten or struck with well-carved sticks. Among the various Nigerian groups, skin drums of various sizes and shapes abound. Perhaps the most

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