By its growing potential, mass communication has its functions to do by. The 4 functions of mass communication are surveillance, entertainment, correlation, and cultural transmission.
The functions of mass communication in simple terms are- Inform, Educate, Entertain and Persuade. Mass communication is a process wherein an individual, a group, or even an organization gives information to many people through various channels of mass communication such as television, radio, billboards, newspapers, articles, or even journals. There are usually two parts of communications, i.e., the sender and the receiver.
The sender is often a professional who works in the mass communication industry and is usually linked with an organization that provides the information to the receiver. Mass communication can be very influential as it can persuade or sometimes affect the individuals' thinking, opinions, or even behavior.
7 Functions of Mass Communication
One of the characteristics of mass communication is avoiding the limitation of face-to-face or direct communication. The human voice can only reach a limited number of people, and mass communication puts an end to such limitations.
Certain functions of mass communication are:
Surveillance helps to bring about awareness through the information to the people all round the clock. Society is dependent on mass communication to know about what's going on in and around their lives through news channels and the internet. They want to keep up with the ongoing trends in politics, social media, lifestyles, or know the day's weather conditions.
Knowing what's around people brings them a sense of comfort. This information is brought to people by smartphones, television, and radio. To keep people updated more, notifications are helpful, which notify news the right way.
Mass communication is entertainment for the people where they can entertain themselves with various information, sports for the sports enthusiasts, celebrity gossip for the cinema fans, watching youtube videos, dance, music, etc. When stressed out, people turn to their phones or television for some laughs or mood lighting content.
On weekends watching movies, TV shows, Comedy shows with family and friends or dancing to your favourite songs, anything and everything can be found to satisfy the people in today's world of mass communication.
We live in a world where we are now dependent on mass communication to feed us information about what is happening worldwide. However, everything on the internet available is not 100% true. Ultimately everything on the internet is written, edited, uploaded by someone. It could contain facts, interpretations, conspiracy, critizations, half-truths, etc., yet it is very important and upto us to filter the content being projected at us.
Media also helps to connect different elements of society. Raising enough money to treat an illness for an individual is one such example. Correlation addresses how the media presents facts that we use to move through the world.
Mass communication, especially mass media, helps to bring people together, which, in turn, leads to a bonding function among the public and media. It helps people of the same kind to connect better and embrace differences when it comes to others. Moreover, it helps expose people to all kinds of people around the member. Thus, enabling a person to see from the other's perspective too. An example is people who have similar interests can create a forum to gather and get introduced.
Mass Communication can reach a large number of people; that is why events occurring thousands from them, people are still aware. Be it gaining people's support for an event or a protest can be done via this. It helps connect people over a wide geographic area, the world seems small and the globe connected. This is a boon for us humans but sometimes also a bane.
Media gives us facts and relevant data, but they provide other information such as the importance of particular information and educate the public about its significance and alert them.
Mass media usually interpret messages to its audience or viewers in more or less ethical ways. The mass media use objective interpretations to portray their opinions, and they may differ from individual to individual.
Mass communication helps people socialize with others and portray how others work, think, and live. In turn, people get accustomed to how to behave and recognize what values are. Be it talking about their favourite books, authors, personalities, movies, games, etc. Moreover, it brings people of the same interest together, thus creating new social groups where people can link and bond with each other.
Characteristics and Features of Mass Communication
Mass communication plays a vital role in today's world. People are hungry for information, which drives the huge platform of mass communication to grow larger and stronger every day. Both Journalism and Mass communications are similar in their fields but do have different principles to them, and both streams are equally important on their own.
Mass communication seeks to convey essential and relevant data to the large masses, and journalism aims to give information on one particular piece of information at a time to a huge number of people.
Listed below are some of the key features and characteristics of Mass Communication.
Messages communicated through media like television, mobile phones, and televisions are transmitted very little to no time to their audiences, irrespective of their geography. Newspapers and magazines take a few days to be distributed but can even cover the remotest areas where technology couldn't.
Individuals are free to choose channels, media houses, movies, etc., of their interest, and none can coerce them.
The information and target audiences might be biased, but the technology is the same and follows equal rights policy.
- Wider Options
A very distinct feature of mass communication is the variety it offers. One can choose from a million movies, channels, etc. the diversity of options is so huge that people of all kinds can find what interests them most. We have also seen the channels alter their popular demands.
- One-way Flow
The flow of information is one way; it is outward and not inward.
- Heterogeneous Audience
Mass Communication's audiences are limited to a specific set of people, but the audiences consist of different ages, gender, geographical region, culture, tradition, religions, and languages.
- Wide and Vast
Mass Communication covers a very wider area, and the number of people goes beyond billions.
- Requires Professionals
The Mass Communication industry requires professionals such as anchors, journalists, RJs, PRs, producers, engineers, directors, etc.
- Uses Electronic Devices and Modern Technology
Mass Communication uses electronic devices to transmit and receive information. It uses tech devices such as mobile phones, television, radio, computers, etc., as these are faster and portable.
- Maintains Anonymity
People can choose to keep their identity anonymous unless chosen otherwise.
Scope of Mass Communication
There is an array of opportunities for graduates in mass communication and even more. So with the increase in today's technology, a mass communication path is best for people who have good communication skills. In addition, it's better to have general awareness about the things that go on around the world. If name and fame are what you're looking for, this is one of the best fields to be an influencer.
Below are the job opportunities for Mass Communication graduates.
- Take up journalism
- Become a TV producer
- Take up an event management
- Becoming a cameraperson for a reputed mass media company
- Becoming a public relations officer
- Media planner
- Work in a publishing house as a publisher
- Take up the role in the corporate communications
- Become a radio jockey with the right skills
- Copywriter and can even start a copywriting firm with the required skills and knowledge