Updated April 19, 2023
Introduction to Mass Communication
Meeting in a park and discussing each other’s lives was ‘world affairs’ in our grandparents’ era. A Panchayat addressing its village and the Politicians giving speeches to win their votes was the limit of extending their views on communicating with a larger crowd. Our parents advanced a bit and read these worldly affairs in Newspapers. Mass Communication was limited to a very narrow mindset in those days.
We all very well know that, now, things have changed, DRASTICALLY! Have you ever seen the sunrise early in the morning, the entire scape is splashed with its colors, and it only gets better? Well, this perfectly describes where Media and Entertainment industry is currently in India. By the end of 2015, it was evaluated to be around Rs 60,000 Crore growing at 11.7 percent over 2014. Moreover, neither has it increased in size new medium, i.e., the Digital Medium has created a strong foothold and is growing considerably. In an industry that’s on the rise, the opportunities are endless. Mass communication, the future of India, holds infinite possibilities and development.
The growth will be immense in all sectors, be it Print (Newspapers, Magazines, Books), Radio, Television, Films, or the Internet. Moreover, now most companies have an integrated approach and are present across all the platforms.
First came the Print media, then the Radio. That was when our grandparents were young. Our parents grew up watching black-and-white television and beat them all, didn’t we? We had the best thing that the field of mass communication could ever witness, the INTERNET!
It is a pretty straightforward concept. The word itself says it all—using media to communicate simultaneously with a large population. The media can be anything. Your daily conversation, that’s speech; through your writing abilities, that’s Print media, your voice alone, that would be Radio and your physical self, audio and video, Television and movies, yes! Mass communication is any medium used to communicate a message with a bigger crowd. If we consider the history of mass communication, Even art and manuscripts in pre-historic times were a form of mass communication. Woah! It started a long time ago.
But just like everything on this planet, it evolved significantly in the 20th and 21st centuries. Because of technological advancements, the communication medium grew, revolutionized, and brought about a life-changing experience for every human being. Everything has now changed. The way we think, the way we react, and the way we communicate, and why not? When you can go worldwide while sitting in your living room, things have turned around.
Subcategories of Mass Communication
Not just that, it can now also be thought of as a career option if that’s what interests you! It has four subcategories-
How do you think your mother learned that Complan would make you taller? Advertising involves endorsing and selling a product. Every little video that keeps you hooked in the intervals between your favorite television shows is advertising. It is an excellent career option for acting, writing, direction, etc.
With the evolution of Digital platforms, the advertising world has changed, but Tv continues to be the most invested medium. Several new platforms and types of mass communication have evolved, like short stories, blogs, videos, etc. Because of Social media platforms, advertising now happens every day and every minute.
This is what you probably get scolded for the most after video games. Television, films, and Radio. Whether it’s your favorite cartoon Doraemon, reality shows Big Boss, the movie 3 Idiots, and your daily dose of music, 93.5 Red FM all comes under Broadcasting. A single source broadcasts its message on a communication medium to reach the masses. Again, you can be any of these: actors, writers, RJ/VJ, producers, directors, and newsreaders!
3. Journalism and Mass Communication
Terrorists attacked the World Trade Centre. We would have been entirely ignorant of such a massive crisis if newspapers and journalists were not there. Journalism involves gathering, verifying, editing, and presenting the news from all across the globe on all sorts of incidents to the people. Want to be the next Barkha Dutt or Rajdeep Sardesai or maybe the scary, bearded guy pointing the finger at you and shouting at you for the sake of ‘warning you’?
Journalism has undergone a massive change in India in the last ten years. With so many news channels, websites, and apps, the competition is high today. In this immense competition, content quality has lost its way, but no one can deny that it has empowered the common man with information.Image source: Pixabay.com
4. Public Relations
This is an exciting field. Most people would confuse it with advertising, but unlike advertising, public relations is related to shaping public opinion based on a professional opinion of a product and/or organization. This is a growing trend in India, with every organization, celebrity, and brand having its PR team. Several organizations have evolved that specialize in this field. Moreover, with the high use of social media, its role has become ever more critical.
It is a great career option for creative individuals who want not just to acknowledge their skills but use them as a power to influence the masses with their work. It gives you the satisfaction of making a difference with the hard work that most of us desire to achieve. And, the salary is quite satisfying too!
Unlike earlier times, when having good communication skills and a literature degree was enough to get into journalism, today, it requires skills, intelligence, and the ability to efficiently send a message to the audience. So, now you have professional mass communication courses you must be indulged in to get mass communication jobs in this field.
It would be best if you had a degree. It would be best to go to college, complete the course, and get a degree. But unlike commerce, engineering, and medicine, there is no pre-defined technique or mechanism to be into mass communication. The only key is experience. The more knowledge you gather in your journey of gaining experience, the better Journalist or advertiser you are. A higher degree and personal experience in writing or other communication media show you are a perfect choice!
So, don’t wait to pass your 12th boards or getting into college to start your journey. Get the edge over your competition by polishing your communication skills as early as possible. Your maturity will get you through the tough times in this field.
Advertising, Journalism, Broadcasting, and Public Relations are the broader categories, but mass communication is a vast field, and you can be ‘n’ number of things here.
- Fashion Photographer
- Film Director
- TV Correspondent
- Radio Jockey/ RJ
- Screenplay writer
- Sound Engineer
- Special Correspondent
- Art Director
- Event manager
- Content writer
- Copy Writer
- Creative Head
- TV Anchor and many more.
There are many options available out there, but you cannot get up one day and decide to become an RJ and you would become one! Every role has requirements that you must fulfill to play well.
Radio Jockeys are required to have complete knowledge of their city and the world’s current affairs. They must know how to grip their audience because their voice is their only weapon. You must know where the interests of your listeners lie.
As far as Journalism and news media are concerned, though you would be reading off of a teleprompter, the job expects you to be completely immersed in the world’s affairs. You have to know what is happening in the USA and what happened in Germany years ago. You must know how the past affects the present and what the future holds for everybody!
Filming and directing is not easy job either. You cannot give your audience films that already pictured that story. You must be creative and adapt to your viewer’s interests whenever you get behind a camera. Giving a crowd of millions what they desire in the most appropriate manner can be challenging.
Speaking of appropriate, you must remember that when you get into mass communication. You must remember that you are influencing people of all ages and manners, which means you must know what is right and for whom? It is either right or wrong; there is no grey area here!
But enough with the challenges, don’t they come in every field and career? Let’s discuss the good things. If you are still in doubt about choosing this as your career, let us look at the advantages mass communication offers. This will help you with your decision.
- You become immortal: No, not like vampires, but yes, your work does make you immortal, i.e., whatever you write or publish stays for a very long time, and your audience can go through your work repeatedly. With channels like YouTube, even your appearance on TV can be reviewed anytime.
- You get to entertain your audience: Now, this might sound a bit philosophical, but the greatest joy in life comes not when you are happy but when you can make others happy, and what better way to showcase that ability than being in the field of mass communication?
- You become famous, internationally: Nowadays, ask a kid what he/she wants to become when they grow up, and they say, FAMOUS! With the coverage a Journalist or an actor gets and the boundaries that a writer’s published work crosses, fame is bound to come to you!
- You become a trusted source for help: You might be advertising a company’s product or presenting certain news, but you don’t realize how many people you are helping when you do so. Your opinion and response make the audience make crucial life decisions. You become the person they go to in case they need help.
Every mass communication job will offer you a paycheque and maybe even foreign trips, but not many jobs will make you a people person. And like to achieve anything extraordinary, you have to earn it. You will have to give it everything and make sacrifices along the way. Long working days and sleepless nights might become your routine, but you must always be dedicated. Why?
You reach hundreds and thousands of people every day; you influence and inspire them. That makes Mass Communication the most challenging job of them all.
This has been a guide to Mass Communication. Here we discuss a brief overview of the 4 Subcategories of Mass Communication. You may also look at the following articles to learn more –