Communication is the exchange or transfer of information. It covers just about any interaction between people. It is described by McQuail as, “a process of increased commonality or sharing between participants, on the basis of sending and receiving ‘messages’.” As communication is the sending and receiving of ‘messages’ there is a question as to whether a message sent that does not obtain any feedback can be counted as a form of communication. The two basic forms of communication are vocal and non-vocal. We communicate in numerous different ways every day whether it be texting a friend, talking on the phone or face to face conversation, this type of communication is in general on a one to one basis or involves only a few people, in the twentieth century technology has advanced considerably leading to an increase in mass communication medium, in addition these advances make it relatively straight forward to communicate with a vast audience.
Mass communication is the term given when different types of medium that are capable of engaging a large portion of the public are utilised. These include but are not limited to television, radio, advertising, the internet, newspapers, and magazines. An early definition of mass communication by Janowitz (1968) describes this process as a fundamentally linear one, touching on the idea of the transmission theory of communication.
“Mass media include all forms of information communicated to large groups of people, from a handmade sign to an international news network. There is no standard for how large the audience needs to be before communication becomes "mass" communication. There are also no constraints on the type of information being presented.” Jennifer Akin 2005 – Mass Media
Defining mass media is by no means simple
Bibliography: McQuail, D. - McQuail’s Mass Communication Theory, 5th Edition (2005) BBC News [online], [accessed 8th, 9th December 2008] Available from World Wide Web: <http://news.bbc.co.uk/>