Mass communication is a study thatconnects people and other entities to large segments of the populationthrough mass media. It is usually related to newspapers, magazines and book publishing as well as radio, television, films and even the internet as these mediums are used for disseminating information, news and advertising. The study of mass communication is concerned with how the content of mass communication persuades or otherwise affects the behavior, attitude, opinion, or emotion of the person or people receiving the information.
In his piece, ‘The Study of Mass Communication’ in International Encyclopedia of Social Sciences, M. Janowitz writes, “Mass communication comprises the institutions and techniques by which specialized groups employ technological devices (Radio, TV, Press, films) to disseminate symbolic content to large heterogeneous and widely dispersed audiences.”
According to Charles R Wright, mass communication is a special kind of communication involving distinctive operating conditions, primary among which are nature of the audience, of the communication experience, and of the communicator. Mass communication is directed towards a relatively large, heterogeneous and anonymous audience. Mass communication is organized communication and is characterized as public, rapid and transient.
One of the finest definitions of mass communication has been given by Denis McQuail in his book ‘Towards Sociology of Mass communication’. According to McQuail, “the term mass media indicates the entire systems within which messages are produced, selected, transmitted, received and responded to”.