Definition and characteristics of Mass Communication


Communication, in so many forms, has a role and a function quite large in people's lives. Watzalawick in Bradac and Bowers (1980) and even reveals that the human being can not not communicate. Every human being has the potential to communicate with each other when he was silent though. Human communication has some contexts depending on the number of communicators, the degree of physical proximity, the channel is available to the immediacy of sensory feedback (in Mulyana Cassandra, 71; 2002).
One of the context of this communication include mass communication. Cassandra (in Mulyana, 71; 2002) states that if the context of mass communication than other communication context it was explained that mass communication is a form of communication that has the most number of communicators, the degree of physical proximity to the lowest, sensory channels available are minimal and delayed feedback.
1. Definition of Mass Communication
The simplest definition of mass communication expressed by Bittner (in Grace, 2005: 186) "Mass communication is the message being communicated through mass media to large numbers of people". Meanwhile, Dominick (1996) argues that mass communication is a complex organization with the assistance of one or more machines to create and disseminate public messages aimed at the audience as well as large-scale heterogeneous and dispersed. Meletze (in Grace, 1998) itself and then gives the definition of mass communication can be interpreted as a form of communication that made the statement publicly through the media is indirectly technical deployment and the direction in populations of different communities scattered. As Rodman (2006) mentioned that mass communication consists of messages mediated (mediated messages) released to the public a large and dispersed.
From the definition, it can be concluded that mass communication is an activity of a person or an organization that produces a series of messages with the help of machines to be distributed to the audience a lot to be anonymous, heterogeneous and dispersed.

Source in the chart above are professionals or a large organization that acts as a gatekeeper. Book prepared by the gatekeeper to spread the message created by economic considerations, legal and ethical. Given the differences in interpretation of the role of each individual in the audience that cause effects at both the individual and community level.
Rodman (2006:9) states that this model increase the role of gatekeeper and limits the natural feedback. This is evident from how the gatekeeper to choose from an infinite source of news from entertainment and information to be exposed to the public.
2. Characteristics of Mass Communication
Similar to the definition of mass communication, mass communication was characteristic of having multiple versions of communications experts. Elizabeth Noelle Neuman (in Grace, 1983: 92) mentions four principal signs in mass communication are:
1. mass communication is indirect
2. mass communication is one-way
3. mass communication are open.
4. have a public who are geographically dispersed.
Rodman (2006:8) in his book Mass Media In A Changing World said mass communication differences with other types of communication are:
1. Slow feedback process and the interaction between the communicator and the communicant restricted.
2. Mass communication has a great effect and widespread.
3. The process of encoding and decoding through several stages (multistages) with the possibility of semantic disorder, natural and mechanical.
4. The message conveyed is public, expensive and easily lost.
5. Communicant has a huge number and can choose which message you want to access it.

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