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Introduction to Mass Communication

MESSAGE ROOT OF COMMUNICATION I:VERBAL MESSAGE, Static Evaluation

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Introduction to Mass Communication ­ MCM 101
VU
LESSON 07
MESSAGE ­ ROOT OF COMMUNICATION I
Message in communication holds the key in determining what a piece of communication is all
about. A slight change at the end from where a message is originating may lead to a yawning difference in
understanding it at the end of receiver.
Human message is entirely different from a mechanical message which makes it a very tricky, some time
complex but embarrassing proposition. If you blow a horn of a motorcar it would sound the same if you try
it a hundred times. The telephone bell will ring in the same fashion ­ sound and the level of volume, where
you have adjusted it. Listen to a recorded music and you would hear the same no matter how many time
you bother the machine to play it.
But human communication is very different. You can't repeat a message exactly the ways you have done
before for a range of variables occur in composing the message. As said a while ago, a slight change in
message ­ in any manner ­ may lead to change its meanings at the receiving end. When we examine this
property of message in the field of mass communication, the outcome suggest that the sender of a message
need to draw extraordinary measures to avoid any misunderstanding on part of receivers who may be in
millions in some given case. That is why lines (script) in mass communication is not changed frequently and
highly trained people are employed to dispatch message in a quest to achieve the goal of communicating the
same meanings ­ to a possible extent.
Here we will study nature and characteristics of message and the measures to be taken to avoid problems in
communication especially when a message is meant for cross cultures, religions, continents, nationalities and
casts etc.
Division
Messages are generally divided into two categories:
 Verbal
 Non verbal
VERBAL MESSAGE
A message composed in words ­ spoken or written ­ fall in this category. All we read in
newspapers, magazines and books as well as listen to fellow beings face to face or radio, TV, telephone etc
are clear examples of verbal messages.
Linguistic Barrier
All people even when they belong to one clan do not posses same linguistic skills. Nor a person
ever knows that whatever he or she is saying ­ by composing in idioms and words ­ is to be understood as
such by others. Think of a situation when people are talking to each other that belong to different areas
where even the same words stand for different meanings. And if the sender and receiver of a message
belong to areas where two different languages are spoken, the meanings of message are deciphered
substantially and chances of misunderstanding, and misgiving, are high.
Standard Meaning's Problem
Some time a language may not prove up to the mark even two very close people are exchanging
views. For instance two people understand what is meant by the word `hot'. Even then if one person
reports to other that it is hot outside, the receiver may not quantify how hot it is unless physics (science) is
applied and the sender says it is 40 degree Celsius outside. In normal language in which communication is
done such physics references are a remote possibility. Hence there is always difference in understanding the
exact meaning of a message.
Written Message Confusion
The written words offer more of this situation. It is difficult to articulate your thinking and feeling
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Introduction to Mass Communication ­ MCM 101
VU
about an experience in to words. It is even more difficult for the reader ­ receiver ­ to decode or
understand who has no experience of those feelings. For instance a person has never visited Swat valley. It
is so difficult to make him or her feel the way writer has felt the experience of visiting the all awesome valley
even if he has chosen best words and articulation to describe the feelings.
You never know whether a person has exaggerated while giving an account of some event as words are not
like mathematics to give same result after same exercise. This makes the task of historians extremely
difficult who have to write for people centuries after when a sea of cultural changes would have taken place
only to alter the meanings of the same words used by the authors of the history book. It is here that we can
recall the Shcramm-Osgood communication model which emphasizes on the common experience of the
things talked about by the sender in a message.
Static Evaluation
Words themselves do not carry the same meanings through time and space. A word which gave a
specific meaning a hundred years ago may not give the same meanings today ­ for scores of reasons.
Similarly meanings of same words are changed at some distance. A verbal message which once stood for
certain meanings, may not always stand for the same meanings because static meaning evaluation does not
hold in any language.
NON VERBAL MESSAGE
Many messages we come across in our daily life are non verbal ­ not in words by in gestures,
symbols, signs etc. Here we will see how this part of communication takes place.
Gestures
We usually adopt some patent gestures to communicate certain feelings. A victory sign is a clear
example of sending a message of a win. A baby brings certain gestures on his/her face to communicate
mother and others about the pain or pleasure it is feeling. Wink of an eye may send a message across for
multiple meanings.
Signs and Symbols
At times the non verbal communication ­ message, prove more to be understood beyond the
bounds of culture and creed. A red-cross sign has assumed a global understanding for medical care. Blaring
of siren by an ambulance sends the same meaning to all. Traffic signals are globally understood the same
way.
Cultural Conflict
Some cultures however differ in communicating the same meanings of common symbols. For
instance present a while rose in Japan may stand for meanings different if the same is done in the
subcontinent. Seeing into the eyes may stand as a sign of truthfulness of a child, it may be deemed as an
offense.
Body Gestures (Language)
As we send down a message even in words, we tend to attach some non verbal action to give more
meaning to the message. If we have to say sit down please, we also extend our hand as to support the verbal
communication.
Voice Accentuation
Not only at most inter-personal and group communications but also at the level of mass
communication the common most thing in a message is the voice accentuation. Speakers at a mass rally or
even on radio and television tend to change their voice level and stress words to give some particular
meaning to their utterances. You also do it when you talk to a baby and discipline your voice level ­ with
the same set of words ­ when talking to an older person like father or teacher for instance.
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Table of Contents:
  1. MASS COMMUNICATION AN OVERVIEW:Relationships, Power
  2. EARLY MASS COMMUNICATION AND PRINTING TECHNOLOGY
  3. SEVEN CENTURIES OF MASS COMMUNICATION FROM PRINTING TO COMPUTER
  4. ELEMENTS OF COMMUNICATION AND EARLY COMMUNICATION MODELS
  5. COMMUNICATION MODELS GRAPHIC PRESENTATION OF COMPLEX ISSUES
  6. TYPES AND FORMS OF COMMUNICATION:Inter personal, Combination
  7. MESSAGE ROOT OF COMMUNICATION I:VERBAL MESSAGE, Static Evaluation
  8. MESSAGE ROOT OF COMMUNICATION II:Conflicts, Brevity of Message
  9. EFFECTS OF COMMUNICATION:Helping Out Others, Relaxation
  10. COMMUNICATION AND CULTURE:Enculturation, Acculturation
  11. LANGUAGE IN COMMUNICATION:Polarization, Labeling, Static meanings
  12. STEREOTYPING A TYPICAL HURDLE IN MASS COMMUNICATION:Stereotype Groups
  13. MASS MEDIA HISTORICAL PERSPECTIVE:Early analysis on manuscripts
  14. EMERGENCE OF PRINT MEDIA AROUND THE WORLD:Colonial journalism
  15. TELEGRAPH DOES MIRACLE IN DISTANCE COMMUNICATION TELEX AND TELEPHONE ENTHRALL PRINT COMMUNICATION
  16. TYPES OF PRINT MEDIA:Newspapers, Magazines, Books
  17. PRESS FREEDOM, LAWS AND ETHICS NEW DEBATE RAGING STILL HARD
  18. INDUSTRIALIZATION OF PRINT PROCESSES:Lithography, Offset printing
  19. EFFECTS OF PRINT MEDIA ON SOCIETY:Economic ideas, Politics
  20. ADVERTISING HAND IN HAND WITH MEDIA:Historical background
  21. RENAISSANCE AND SCIENTIFIC REVOLUTION: ROLE OF PRINT MEDIA:Science
  22. RECAP:Elements of communication, Books, Printing, Verbal Message
  23. MEDIA MANAGEMENT:Division, Business section, Press
  24. IMAGES IN MASS COMMUNICATION INVENTION OF PHOTOGRAPHY:Portrait photography
  25. MOTION PICTURES A NEW WAY IN MASS COMMUNICATION-I:Definition
  26. MOTION PICTURES A NEW WAY IN MASS COMMUNICATION (Cont...):Post-Studio Era
  27. FILM MEDIA IN SUBCONTINENT AND PAKISTAN-I:Accusations of plagiarism
  28. FILM MEDIA IN SUBCONTINENT AND PAKISTAN (II) & ITS EFFECTS:First Color film
  29. PROPAGANDA:Types in another manner, Propaganda in revolutions
  30. RADIO A BREAKTHROUGH IN MASS COMMUNICATION:What to broadcast
  31. EFFECTS OF RADIO ON SOCIETY:Entertainment, Information, Jobs
  32. TELEVISION A NEW DIMENSION IN MASS COMMUNICATION:Early Discoveries
  33. TV IN PAKISTAN:Enthusiasm, Live Broadcast, PTV goes colored
  34. EFFECTS OF TELEVISION ON SOCIETY:Seeing is believing, Fashion
  35. PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MASS COMMUNICATION - I:History, Case Study
  36. PUBLIC RELATIONS AND MASS COMMUNICATION - II:Audience targeting
  37. ADVERTISING BEYOND PRINT MEDIA:Covert advertising
  38. IMPACT OF ADVERTISING:Trial, Continuity, Brand Switching, Market Share
  39. MEDIA THEORIES:Libertarian Theory, Social Responsibility Theory
  40. NEW MEDIA IN MASS COMMUNICATION:Technology forcing changes
  41. GLOBALIZATION OF MEDIA:Media and consumerism, Media centralization
  42. MEDIA MERGENCE:Radio, TV mergence, Economic reasons
  43. MASS MEDIA IN PRESENT AGE:Magazine, Radio, TV
  44. CRITICISM ON MEDIA:Sensationalize, Biasness, Private life, obscenity
  45. RECAP:Legends of South Asian Film Industry, Radio, Television, PTV goes colored