Mass Communication: Definition, Functions, and Characteristics

Mass Communication – Mass communication is communication addressed to a wide audience or the general public with heterogeneous nature of communication. Mass communication can occur by using a variety of mass media as a suggestion to support this communication.

The mass media used in mass communication can also be in the form of audio, audio visual, print media or outdoor media. What is mass communication? The following is an explanation of the meaning, function and characteristics of mass communication. Check out this article to the end to find out more!

Understanding Mass Communication According to Experts

In order for Sinaumed’s to know and understand about mass communication, Sinaumed’s must first know the meaning of mass communication. The following is the definition of mass communication according to experts.

  1. John R Bittner
    Bittner revealed that mass communication is a message that can be communicated or conveyed through the mass media to a large number of people at once.
  2. Gerbner
    Mass communication according to Gerbner is the production and distribution that has a foundation on an institutional technology through the flow of messages that have a continuity or continuity. Gerbner also argued that mass communication can produce a product in the form of a communication message. The product of this mass communication will be disseminated to a wide audience continuously at regular intervals, for example, every week or every month.
  3. Maletzke
    Maletzke argues that mass communication is a form of communication that can convey statements openly through technical dissemination media, indirectly and has a one-way nature.
  4. Freidson
    Mass communication is defined by Freidson as communication aimed at a number of populations originating from various groups, mass communication according to Freidson does not only target one individual but several individuals at once.
    Friedson also argues that communication has the implicit assumption that there will be a special tool to be able to send messages so that they can arrive at the same time to everyone at once without having to represent only a few layers of society.
  5. Wright
    Mass communication according to Wright is a form of communication directed to a heterogeneous and anonymous wide audience. Messages conveyed through the mass media also have an open nature and the message is able to be received simultaneously to the general public.
  6. Pearce
    Pearce argues that mass communication is a process that occurs between an individual, a group of people or an organization that can create a message by transmitting it through several types of media to a large audience heterogeneously and anonymously.
  7. Jalaludin Rakhmat
    According to Jalaludin Rakhmat mass communication is one of the types of communication addressed to several audiences which is spread through print media, magazines, newspapers, electronics, television and radio. Because the message is conveyed through various media, the message can be received simultaneously and momentarily.
  8. Josep A Devito
    Mass communication is communication addressed to a large audience or large masses. According to Devito, mass communication can be carried out by several institutions through media such as television, radio, newspapers, films, books and magazines.
  9. Mass Communication According to Language
    In discussing, mass communication or mass communication is a process of delivering messages through mass media or communicating with the media. The term mass communication is an abbreviation derived from mass media communication. Mass media also stands for mass communication media.
    When viewed in more detail, the meaning of mass communication according to language is, message delivery communication, the media is the channel or means of conveying messages and the masses are the crowds or the public.
    From the notion of mass communication according to that language, Littlejohn argues that communication cannot be separated by any one person from the communication media and the process of mass communication, because according to Littlejohn only communication media is capable of connecting sources with audiences, both as individuals and as institutions in society. .

According to the understanding of mass communication from several experts and according to the language, the notion of mass communication can be concluded, mass communication is a type of communication delivered to the general public using various mass media and carried out heterogeneously and anonymously.



Characteristics of Mass Communication

Hafied Cangara argues that mass communication is one type of communication that has a significant difference from other forms of communication. Mass communication has messages that are open to a wide variety of audiences, such as differences in terms of age, ethnicity, religion, occupation and needs.

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Having a significant difference with other types of communication, here are the characteristics of mass communication to distinguish it from other types of communication.

1. Institutional communicators

Mass communication has the characteristic of being a communicator in mass communication who can move in a complex organization but has an institutional nature. The mass communication message delivery agency conveys its message through various mass media, such as newspapers, the internet, radio, television, books, magazines and so on.

2. The message conveyed has a general nature

In contrast to the types of interpersonal or personal communication, messages conveyed through mass communication have a general nature. Thus, the message is not only addressed to one individual or several individuals and is not personal.

Mass communication conveys a general message and is addressed to a broad general audience. Therefore, the process of mass communication is running openly. This can happen, because the communicants of mass communication are spread in various places, besides that the messages conveyed also contain news and have elements of facts that are important and interesting to all levels of society from various walks of life.

3. The communicants of mass communication are heterogeneous and anonymous

From the understanding of mass communication according to experts, it can be seen that some experts argue that mass communication has one of the same characteristics, namely its communication is heterogeneous and anonymous. Communicators or recipients of information in mass communication are heterogeneous and anonymous.

This is because, mass communication conveys messages from the communicator in a general way to the whole community or the general public, with varied community conditions and not knowing each other. Regardless of gender, age, customs, culture, race, social strata and others, mass communication messages are conveyed to the general public and openly.

4. Has a unison nature

According to Effendy, mass communication has the same characteristics. Mass communication is delivered to many people, the general public with a very large number of individuals and communicants over long distances. Messages conveyed using mass media simultaneously and quickly.

5. The message conveyed is one-way

The fifth characteristic of mass communication is that it is one-way. That is, mass communication occurs directly between the communicant and the communicator, but the communicator and communicant do not meet each other and cannot respond directly to the message conveyed. Is one-way, the communicator in mass communication who has control of the communication.

6. Delayed feedback occurs or the feedback given is delayed

This sixth characteristic of mass communication is related to the fifth characteristic. Because the communicant and communicator do not communicate directly and communication is one-way, the feedback will be delayed.

Communicators and communicators in mass communication do not know the reaction of the general public when the message is conveyed. So there is feedback delayed in mass communication.

In general, those are the six characteristics of mass communication. However, several experts also expressed opinions regarding the characteristics of mass communication. The following are the characteristics of mass communication according to experts.



Characteristics of Mass Communication According to Experts

According to experts such as William R. Rivers, McQuail and others, here are some of the characteristics of mass communication that distinguish mass communication from other types of communication.

1. William R Rivers, et al

The characteristics of mass communication according to RIvers et al are as follows:

  • Walk one way.
  • There is a process between media selection to select audiences as communicants.
  • Can reach a wide audience from various walks of life.
  • Aiming or targeting certain communicants with the segmentation desired by the communicator.
  • Carried out by a social institution such as the press and the media as well as the public influence each other and interact from mass communication.

2. McCail

According to McQuail, mass communication has five characteristics that distinguish it from other types of communication.

  • The source of communication is not only one person, but also involves a formal organization, the sender or sender of the message is often a professional communicator who is an expert in his field.
  • Messages conveyed through mass communication can be varied, easily predictable, can be processed, through standardization, reproduced and become commodity products that have valuable exchange values.
  • Recipients of mass communication messages are part of the wider audience.
  • Mass communication includes simultaneous contact between one sender and many message recipients.

3. Michael W Gamble and Teri Kwal Gamble

In 1986, both of them stated that mass communication has the following characteristics.

  • In mass communication, communicators can rely on modern equipment to be able to spread or transmit messages quickly to the general public and disseminated through the mass media.
  • Communicators in mass communication can spread messages with the intention of trying to get variety, understanding or attention from millions of people who do not know each other.
  • Messages conveyed through mass communication belong to the public. This means that the message is easy to obtain and can be received by anyone.
  • Communicators in mass communication are generally formal organizations such as organizations, certain group networks, associations and so on. The communicator also does not come from a person or individual, but from something that has a larger nature, such as an institution.
  • Mass communication is controlled by a number of people or referred to as gatekeepers to control a message before the message is disseminated to the general public. Gatekeepers can be someone who works as an editor or editor.
  • In mass communication, feedback has a delayed nature. The delayed feedback is caused because mass communication is conveyed through different mass media than other types of communication. Because, mass communication is not done directly.
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4. Elizabeth Noelle Neuman

According to Neuman in 1983 in one of his books, there are four main characteristics of mass communication, along with their characteristics.

  • Mass communication has an indirect nature when the message is conveyed to the communicant.
  • Mass communication has one-way characteristics.
  • Mass communication has the characteristics of being open and the messages conveyed are not closed.
  • Mass communication has the characteristic of publics that are geographically dispersed anywhere.

Mass Communication Function

Mass communication does not exist only to achieve one goal, especially with the various evolutions that have occurred, mass communication has become an increasing role in social life. According to Wright, there are seven functions of mass communication, one of which is to offer insight into the role of humans or society in life. The following is the function of communication and its explanation.

  1. Supervision, mass communication has a supervisory function that becomes the eyes and ears of people who are looking for information about something. An example is the internet and newspapers which are now a means for every individual to seek important information, ranging from information about the weather, current issues and even gossip. Now, people rely more on mass communication to access information easily and quickly.
  2. Correlation, the function of correlation in mass communication means that the media presents facts that are used by society to move around the world. Information disseminated through mass communication is not objective and without bias.
  3. Sensationalization, according to the function of sensationalization in mass communication, means that the media prioritizes the most sensational messages to achieve passion from consumers.
  4. Entertainment, mass communication also has a function as entertainment, for example, mass communication that is spread through magazines, television, online news and others that provide various information or entertaining messages for the general public. The fourth function of mass communication is more pronounced than the other functions of mass communication. Especially when the internet began to develop and many communicants spread entertaining messages through various mass media that are easily accessible to the general public.
  5. Transmission or dissemination, mass communication using mass media has the function of being a ‘vehicle’ or means of transmission that helps convey cultural norms, rules, values ​​and customs. The mass media has an important role in the process of socialization and dissemination of information.
  6. Mobilization, the sixth function of mass communication is to mobilize people who have been in a period of crisis. An example is when an event occurs that befalls a city in a country. In this case, the mass media has a role to mobilize the general public to share in the experience or event so as to create a feeling that the event also happened to him because it happened in the country he lives in.
  7. Validation, the final function of mass communication is validation of the status and norms of certain individuals, organizations, movements and products. The validation of certain people and groups has a function to be able to uphold social norms. The mass media in mass communication can validate certain cultural norms while eliminating differences and variations from existing norms.

The seven functions of mass communication make Mc Luhan and Fiore argue that mass communication needs to be reflected in the life of every society. Especially when the mass communication media is now growing.

That is an explanation of what is mass communication? Starting from the understanding according to language and experts, the characteristics and functions of mass communication. Sinaumed’s can find out more about mass communication by reading books.