Susan Jacobson (susanjacobson) wrote in jou55online,

BlogTalk 1: What Is Communication?

Types of Communication
  • Intrapersonal Communication - Communication with oneself
  • Interpersonal Communication - Communication between 2 people
  • Group Communication - Communication between more than 2 people
  • Mass Communication - Communication to large groups of people

    Communication Models
  • Models help us understand complex phenomenon
  • Different communication models illustrate different aspects of communication
  • Models are never perfect



    Shannon-Weaver Basic Model of Communication
  • Human STIMULATION that results in a thought
  • ENCODING of the thought into a message
  • TRANSMISSION of the message over a communication channel
  • DECODING of the message by the recipient into a thought
  • INTERNALIZATION of the message by the recipient.

    Other Components of the Basic Communication Model
  • Feedback
  • Noise
  • Filters
  • Effects
  • Amplification

    Feedback
  • Most communication channels are not one-way.
  • Most communication channels have a feedback loop, even if it is in another medium.
  • Ex: Newspapers and Letters to the Editor
  • Ex: Web sites and feedback forms.

    Three Kinds of Noise
  • Noise is anything that interferes with the message reaching the receiver
  • Semantic Noise - Interference in the content of the message. Ex: sloppy wording or slurred speech.
  • Channel Noise - Interference in the transmission of the message. Ex: radio static.
  • Environmental Noise - An intrusion at the reception site. Ex: The telephone rings while you are watching the news on TV.

    Three Kinds of Fliters
  • A filter is something that prevents the recipient from receiving the message.
  • Informational Filters - The message is encoded in a language that the receiver is not familiar with. Could be a foreign language or the use of unfamiliar terms, such as jargon.
  • Physical Filters - A physical condition that prevents the receiver from understanding the message. Ex: fatigue or drunkenness.
  • Psychological Filters - A philosophy or worldview that influences how the recipient interprets the message. Ex: In Asia, white is the color of death.

    What It All Means

    What information can you "translate" from the following pages? What contributes to the nosie that prevents you from understanding the pages' contents? What kind of filters are present? What kind of information is understandable despite the noises and the filters?

  • http://www.cctv.com/2006tv/CCTV_5/index.shtml
  • http://news.thebeijingnews.com/

    Media Amplification
  • Because of the vast size of the mass communication audience, messages delivered via mass communication are amplified.
  • The messages that are delivered via mass communication have a special status conferred upon them. They become more important than messages that are not delivered via mass communication. We call this status conferral.

    Effects
  • Communication is initiated to create some kind of effect.
  • The whole point of communicating a message is to have an effect.
  • The vast size of a mass communication audience compounds the potential for powerful effects.

    Narrative Model of Communication

    Developed by Harold Lasswell, the Narrative Model uses words instead of diagrams to explain the communication process. The model has four questions:
  • Who says what?
  • In which channel?
  • To whom?
  • With what effect?

    Concentric Circle Model of Communication



    The Concentric Circle model presents the Basic Model as a pond ripple. The message is dropped into the pond, and the ripples represent the different influences on the message, the recipient and the sender. The Concentric Circle model is very similar to the basic model, but with elements such as feedback, noise, amplification, filters and effects applied.

    WHAT IS MASS COMMUNICATION?

    Wikipedia: Mass Communication is the term used to describe the study of various means by which individuals and entities relay information to large segments of the population all at once through mass media. Mass media is a term used to denote, as a class, that section of the media specifically conceived and designed to reach a very large audience .

    Components of Mass Communication
  • Mass Communicators
  • Mass Messages (content)
  • Mass Media (format/technology)
  • Mass Communication (process)
  • Mass Audiences

    Players in the Mass Communication Process
  • Communicators - Journalists, disc jockeys, screenwriters, advertising copywriters
  • Gatekeepers - Editors, producers, trade organizations
  • Regulators - Government, pressure groups

    Impact of Mass Media
  • We learn almost everything we know about the world beyond our immediate experience through mass media.
  • Mass media creates the informed and involved citizenry necessary for a democratic society.
  • Mass media expression allows ideas to be spread widely. (beyond earshot or letter-writing distance)
  • Powerful forces use the mass media to influence our decisions.

    Mass Media Models
    Like communication models, mass media models are tools to help us better understand mass media.

    Hot and Cool Media
  • Marshall McLuhan first proposed the hot and cool model of mass media.
  • Hot media require a high degree of consumer involvement. Books, magazines and newspapers are considered hot media. Video games and the Internet could also be said to be hot media.
  • Cool Media require less consumer involvement. Cool media require the audience to be more passive. Television is a cool media.
  • Radio can be a cool medium when it is being used as background noise, but a warmer medium when the audience is more actively listening.

    Entertainment-Information Model
  • Another model defines mass media based on where each medium falls in the entertainment-information continuum.
  • Generally speaking, newspapers are primarily informative, and fall on the information side of the continuum.
  • Generally speaking, movies are primarily entertainment, and fall on the entertainment side of the continuum.
  • Realistically, all mass media can fall on either end of the Entertainment-Information spectrum.

    Content-Distribution Model
  • The Content-Distribution model separates the creation of media from the distribution of media.
  • In the mass media industry, some companies specialize in the creation of content, and some specialize in distribution.
  • The New York Times specializes in the creation of content.
  • Comcast specializes in the distribution of content.
  • Many mass media companies engage in both content creation and distribution. Disney is a good example.
  • Vertical Integration - When a company both creates and distributes its own content.
  • In the past (1940s-1970s), Vertical Integration was thought to violate US anti-trust laws, but after 1995, the FCC backed off of this because of increased competition.

    Maturation Model
  • The Maturation Model categorizes mass media into stages of development.
  • Innovation Stage - The technology of a new medium is beginning to emerge, and no one has a clear idea how it will develop. This stage is marked by rich growth in new and experimental forms and content. Mobile media could be said to be in this stage of development.
  • Entrepreneurial Stage - After innovation, entrepreneurs explore commercial potential of the new medium. Most entrepreneurial ventures fail, but some succeed. This stage is also marked by lawsuits over technology. The Web could be said to be in this stage of development.
  • Stability Stage - A mass medium is defined to the point where it can be marketed for widespread use. Television could be said to be in this stage of development.

    Elitist-Populist Model
  • The Elitist-Populist Model categorizes content according to whether it serves some broader social good (to educate, uplift, inform) or whether it “gives the public what it wants,” catering to the lowest common denominator.
  • Classical music is elitist, popular music is populist.
  • A PBS documentary on crime is elitist, “COPS” is populist.

    Mass Media Industry
  • Traditionally, entry into the mass media industry has been expensive.
  • However, technology is changing this rapidly.
  • The technology of producing music is much less expensive now than it was 20 years ago. Music studios may be based in someone’s house.
  • The technology of producing movies is much less expensive than it was 20 years ago. Movies like Blair Witch may be produced for thousands of dollars, and still get national distribution.
  • In the 1990s and early 2000s, the trend in the industry was towards conglomeration. Today the trend may be moving towards demassification.

    Media Conglomeration
  • Conglomeration is the combining of companies into larger companies.
  • Media Ownership is the primary way that media conglomeration occurs. Clear Channel, for example, owns more than 1200 radio stations world wide.
  • Joint Ownership is another variation of media conglomeration, where companies share ownership of other companies.

    Media Conglomeration - Positive Effects
  • Conglomeration provides economies of scale. Operating costs may be reduced in a large company because many media outlets share the same resources.
  • Large companies have deep pockets, and can afford to let media outlets weather non-profitable periods.
  • Conglomeration may engender synergy, where media outlets may complement and cross-promote each other.

    Media Conglomeration - Negative Effects
  • Conglomeration forces companies to focus on the bottom line, not quality of media content. Fewer people do more jobs, reducing quality.
  • Conglomeration reduces media outlets to commodities traded on financial markets.
  • When more media outlets are owned by fewer companies, the number of different media voices is reduced. Media content may be too homogenous. (Clear Channel)

    Media Demassification
  • Demassification is a trend that moves media markets from mass to niche audiences.
    Advertising is the first medium to shift to niche markets through direct mail, place-based media, e-mail marketing, telemarketing and “Google marketing.”
  • Terrestrial (AM-FM) radio and most magazines are targeted to niche audiences
  • Podcasting emerged as a niche market phenomenon.
  • Some conglomerates are breaking up their companies. AOL-Time Warner.

    Economics of Mass Media
  • Advertising Revenue - Advertising time on TV, ad space on TV, product placement
  • Circulation Revenue - Fee collected from audience (newspaper, magazine subscription fees)
  • Audience Donations - Voluntary audience payments to a mass media outlet (PBS fund-raising drive)
  • Private Support - Payment from a corporation, foundation or other organization funds the operations of a mass media outlet
  • Government Subsidies - Government monies pay for mass media outlets (PBS)
  • Auxiliary Enterprises - Other methods of raising money. Merchandising, facility rental.


    Informal Discussion Questions

  • Can you describe how the Basic Model of Communication may work for some of the media you use every day - TV, Internet, Magazine?
  • We will revisit the notions of media conglomeration and demassification throughout the semester. Can you think of any instance of media conglomeration or demassification that has impacted your life?
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