Communication: An Introduction


To understand the mass media and its various aspects, we need to know the concept and significance of communication. Let us try to understand it in simple language.

Communication Process

The word communication is derived from the Latin verb communis which means to impart or share an idea or view. Communication is vital for the entire creature in this world.  It is the medium through which we interact with one another and to know what is good and what is bad for us.  We know others views and opinion about ourselves or on other matters. Communication can strengthen our relations or if used in bad intention it can ruin our relations.  Sometimes it may deceive us as by speaking some sweet words one may play second fiddle with us or but if we know the language of  kinesics (body language) we can certainly make an assessment about the intention of the person who is having a design while interacting with us.

Communication is an essential process through which we exchange and share our views and desires. It has been important since the dawn of the civilization. It is due to this power that mankind has been able to get such a huge success while other creatures are still in their prime and they will remain in this condition due to lack of this unique gift.

The process of communication is a process in which many elements are at work.

If you give a thought over the question why do we communicate, it would be very easy to find a question.   We have something to convey to somebody about some point or issue.  So, at least two parties are involved in the process of communication.  The person who has something to say is; the person whom the message is conveyed. The first is speaker and the second in listener. What is being said is message? Through which the message is conveyed is channel.




How will one convey his message is? One may convey it through his mouth or through any device.  As far as length of communication is concerned it can be a small word to many sentences and sometime it may be a book a long speech or a drama.   The book you are reading is also a part of communication.  What is said or communicated is communication.


Nowadays various kind of communication has crept up to the surface.  The primary aim of communication is to convey the message.  Communication can resolve the even very complicated conflict.  Do all the people understand the message exactly as intended by the speaker? No, in fact it may differ due to different perception level of the listener/s.

History of communication

Development of communication is a very long process. It took thousand of years to man to speak. The journey starts like this as age of signs or signals—the age of speech and language —- the age of writing- the age of print and now the age of mass communication.


In the beginning, signs and signals were the only devices through which the human communicated, then came the era of speech that began with crying, shouting, then human learnt to express himself by making some signs or symbols on the rocks and trees and leaves. This process went for a very long period. By writing man learned to preserve his ideas and view and thus it made easy to store the knowledge.  With the advent of printing, various fields of knowledge’s emerged and the journey is still going on touching newer heights.

With the advancement in the filed of science and technology, communication became more varied and wide.  Now with the help of satellite we can disseminate the information to a quite wider region.  Now with the advent of internet, the communication process has taken a giant leap and one can get connected to his friend in any part of world instantly.  The tools of communication are radio, newspapers, magazines, televisions, telegraphs, telephone, mobiles, letters, telex, pagers, email, fax, and cinema and so on.

 Kinds of Communications

 Intrapersonal Communication

It is the basis of all kind of communication.  Everybody goes through it. Once man sees the light on this planet, this process begins.  Even kids also experience it.  It is the communication with self.  In this process, we are the sender and we are the receiver of message. Intensity of such communication may be high when we come across some mental agonies.  It may hinder our smooth thought process.  It can be understood from the fact that sometime occasion arises and we have to be alone at home and our family may have gone somewhere to meet our relative. Do we stop communicating? Do we not interact with ourselves?  No, we keep on communication with ourselves.  We do not stop.  We make plan and execute them. We may have small plans related to our domestic life, but it shows that we think, deliberate and put it into the ground of practicality.

Intra-personal communication may be both organized and unorganized.  When we think about our small work such as I will go to meet my friend; tomorrow when I would to office, I will courier these letters; I have to deposit my insurance premium; next year I will make a trip to shimla with my family. In addition to it, mediating and worshipping are examples of intra-personal communication. In the ancient times our great sages practiced it much and the results of this mediation is in form of great scriptures like Upanishads, Puranas, Gita , Mahabharata and Ramayana.

Interpersonal Communication

Interpersonal communication takes place between two persons. Some of he scholars are of view that it is blend of both verbal and non-verbal communication.  What of the most important characteristics of this type of communication is that there is no gap and messages, ideas, views or opinion are exchanged instantly and there is no delay? Instant feedback is its primary characteristic.  It is more dynamic, vibrant and effective than any other kind of communication.

When the person interacts, it depends upon the relationship between the speaker and listener.  If both the persons are friends then their level would range from personal to professional.  They may chat on number of informal topics.  If the persons are interviewer and interviewee then their level of communication would be quite different. The communication would be more successful, if both the persons belong to the same trade or their ideology match up.

Role of speaker and receiver interchange in the course of interaction.  The speaker becomes listener and listener becomes speaker. Body language is also used immensely. Sometimes a long silence may communicate much than a long sentence.  Reactions of the person and facial expression are also good vehicle of communication. Even our eyes can communicate much without uttering a word by our mouth.

Group Communication

As the name suggests, such communication take place between a groups, which may consists of at least more than two persons. We all belong to one or other groups. Sometimes we may not be aware of the groups but we participate in such groups.  Group communication is not as informal as interpersonal as it involves many people-the larger the group the less possibility of intimacy. Various societies, carnivals, ram leela and village market, bazaars, club. Students union is example of group communication.

In group communication the standard of language used is quite different from the language used in interpersonal communication. After due deliberation effective words are used to disseminate or convey the message.

But the feedback is not received instantly as in the case of interpersonal communication.   It takes time to understand and interpret the messages and then feed is received

Form of communication (based on channel)

Verbal and Non-verbal communication

Verbal Communication:  Verbal means expressing in words. It may be both written and oral communication. When we say written communication it includes all kinds of books, newspapers, magazines tabloids, letters, etc. In the same manner, all the words that we hear on radio, telephone, are also part of non-verbal communication. Thus verbal communication is most important form of communication.  Mass media falls under this category.  In simple terms, what is said or written is called verbal communication.  Verbal communication is more organized and well-structured.

Non–Verbal communication: As the suffix non signifies the unavailability of verbal communication.  It is a communication done by human sense.  Our sense of organs are-eyes (sight),   ear (hearing), nose (smelling), and skin (feeling) palate (taste).  Scientists have proved through their studies that about 90 per cent communication among human beings takes place through non-verbal communication and the verbal communication is responsible for only 10 per cent of communication.  The tools of nonverbal communications are our body parts. One of the prominent feature of this communication it does not require any kind of education or literacy.  Even an illiterate person can use it.  Mother of an infant can understand the gestures of her child.

As a matter of fact gestures, symbols and signs make more vivid communication.  It saves times and energy.  It is shortcut method of conveying the messages.  When a leader of any political party wants to convey the message of his victory in the election, he just waives his hand in the air and makes a V sign that is a sign of victory. A symbol of red light is enough to stop the large number of vehicles. Glare of an angry teacher is enough to say much to the students making noise.  Eyes play major role in conveying love and hate. Our facial expressions can say much than a thousand words.



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