Communication Notes for UGC NET Exam 2021

  • Communication: meaning, type and characteristic of communication
  • Effective communication:  Verbal and non verbal , Inter cultural and non group  Communication classroom communication
  • Barrier to effective communication
  • Mass media and society. 

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Communication Notes for UGC NET Exam 2021


Introduction to communication

Communication is defined as “the process of passing information and understanding from one person to another, it is essentially a bridge of meaning between people” All communication is essentially sharing of information or some message. Communication is the most important of our social activities.

We can classify communication as interpersonal, interpersonal, group communication, Meta communication, upward, downward, lateral, diagonal, formal, informal, oral, written or non-verbal communication.

Understand the functions and importance of communication

In terms of Business “Communication is an important requirement of every business. A businessman participates in the process of communication in many ways. For instance, he informs the consumer about his product, he motivates them to do the work or collects information about the progress of business etc.”

Three Simple Definitions

Communication means sharing of information

Communication is the giving and receiving of messages

Communication is the transfer of information from one or more people to one or more other people

Meaning of Communication

The term communication is derived from the latin word “communis” or “communicare” which means to make common. Thus communication means to make common facts, information’s, thoughts and requirements. Communication, therefore, is the exchange of thoughts, message, information etc. by way of speech, signal or in writing.

Communication is a two-way process and works well with feedback, this helps to confirm that the intended message has been successful.

Scholar Definition of communication

In order to understand further, many scholars have defined the term such as

“Communication is the sum of all things, one person does when he wants to create understanding in the minds of another. It involves a systematic and continuous process of telling, listening and understanding.”

– Allen Louis

Communication has been defined “As the transfer of information from one person to another whether or not it elicits confidence.”

– Koontz and O’ Donell

“Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons.” – George Terry

“Communication is the process by which information is transmitted between individuals and/or organization so that an understanding response results”.

–  By Peter Little

“Communication is an exchange of facts, ideas, opinions or emotions by two or more persons”.

– By W.H. New man and C.F. summer Jr.

There are many other comprehensive definitions exist and touches all the aspects of the communication process in general terms such as business communication, Organizational communication etc.

“Administrative communication is a process which involves the transmission and accurate replication of ideas ensured by feedback for the purpose of eliciting actions, which will accomplish organizational goals.”

Process of Communication

Communication is effective when a concise and clear message is delivered well, received successfully and understand fully. The process of communication has the following distinct components:Communication begins with an impulse (or motivation) to pass on a message made up of bits of information. In the process of encoding, units of information are selected and organized for transmission. Input is the sum of experiences that build up in the human brain or computer.The output is the encoded message transmitted by the information source (an individual person or group of people). The interpretation of the message is referred to as decoding.Feedback is the response or message that the recipient (decoder) returns to the sender (encoder).The sender has an idea

Sender encodes the idea

The sender transmits the message through a medium

The receiver gets the message

The receiver decodes the message

Receiver sends feedback

Feedback in the communication process is the response that gives us some indication of how effectively we communicate. It is the gauge of efficiency in communication

Types and Characteristics of communication

Based on whom the message is addressed

We classify communication according to the number of persons (receivers) to whom the message is addressed:

Interpersonal Communication:

It is talking to oneself in one’s own mind. Examples are soliloquies or asides in dramatic works.

Interpersonal Communication:

It is the exchange of messages between two persons. For example, a conversation, dialogue, or an interview in which two persons interact (others may also be present as the audience). An author communicates inter personally with his reader, who is always present as a silent audience in the author’s mind while he writes. A letter too is an example of interpersonal communication between the writer and the person to whom it is written.

Group Communication:

It can be among small or large groups, like an organization, club or classroom, in which all individuals retain their individual identity.

Mass Communication:

It occurs when the message is sent to large groups of people, for example, by newspaper, radio, or television. In this process, each person becomes a faceless individual with almost no opportunity for personal response or feedback.

Based On the basis of the medium employed

Verbal Communication:

It means communicating with words, written or spoken. Verbal communication consists of speaking, listening, writing, reading, and thinking. It may further be classified as Oral or Written Communication.

Non-verbal communication:

It includes using of pictures, signs, gestures, and facial expressions for exchanging information between persons. It is done through sign language, action language, or object language. Non-verbal communication flows through all acts of speaking or writing. It is a wordless message conveyed through gestures (sign), movements (action language), and object language (pictures/clothes) and so on. Further non-verbal communication can be identified by personal space (proxemics), sense of smell (olfactics) and time (chronemics).

Meta Communication:

Here the speaker’s choice of words unintentionally communicates something more than what the actual words state. For example, a flattering remark like “I’ve never seen you so smartly dressed” could also mean that the regular attire of the listener needed improvement.

Formal Communication:

A formal channel of communication can be defined as a means of communication that is formally controlled by managers or people occupying positions in an organization. The communication flows through formal channels, that is, officially recognized positions along the line in the organization. This ensures that the information flows orderly, timely, and accurately. Any information, decision, memo, reminder etc. will follow this path.

Informal Communication:

Side by side with the formal channel of communication every organization has an equally effective channel of communication that is the informal channel. It is not officially sanctioned, and quite often it is even discouraged or looked down upon.

But, then, it is very much there and has been given the name ‘grapevine’ precisely because it runs in all directions-horizontal, vertical, diagonal. As the management experts put it, “it flows around water coolers, down hallways, through lunch rooms, and wherever people get together in groups”.

Downward Communication:

The Communication that flows from Top to Bottom is known as downward communication. Any organization has an inbuilt hierarchical system, and in that, in the first instance, communication invariably flows downwards.

Upward Communication:

The Communication that flows from bottom to top, which is from a lower hierarchical level to a higher level, is called Upward Communication. The main function of upward communication is to supply information to the upper levels about what is happening at the lower levels. It is just the reverse of the previous dimension

Lateral Communication:

When communication takes place between two or more persons who are subordinates working under the same person or those who are working on the same level, it is called lateral or horizontal communication. A good example of this kind of communication is between functional managers. It is necessary for the reviewing of the activities assigned to various subordinates having identical positions

Diagonal Communication:

Diagonal or Crosswise communication includes the flow of information among persons at different levels who have no direct reporting relationships.

As an example, the Communication between the Training Supervisor and Marketing Manager, regarding the Training of a few employees of the Marketing Department, is Diagonal Communication. This kind of communication is used to speed up information flow, to improve understanding, and to coordinate efforts for the achievement of organizational objectives.

Characteristics of communication

From the analysis of above-mentioned definitions we get the following essential features of communication:

1. It Involves at Least Two Persons:

Communication involves at least two persons, a sender and a receiver. The sender is called communicator and the receiver of the message is known as communicate. A person who speaks, writes or issues some instructions is the sender and the person for whom the communication is meant or who receives the message is the receiver or communicates.

2. The message is a Must:

A message is the subject matter of communication. e.g., the contents of the letter or speech, order, instructions or suggestions. Communication must convey some message. If there is no message there is no communication.

3. Communication Maybe Written, Oral or Gestural:

Communication is generally understood as spoken or written words. But in reality, it is more than that. It includes everything that may be used to convey meanings from one person to another, e.g., movement of lips or the wink of an eye or the wave of hands may convey more meaning than even written or spoken words.

4. Communication is a Two Way Process:

It involves both information and understanding. Communication is not complete unless the receiver has understood the message properly and his reaction or response is known to the sender. Understanding is the end result of communication but it does not imply agreement.

5. Its Primary Purpose is to Motivate a Response:

The primary purpose of communication is to motivate response or influence human behaviour. There is no doubt that motivation comes from within but communicator can also motivate people by good drafting of the message, proper timing of communication, etc. To create understanding, communication should be relevant to the situation. It must always be remembered that communication is a means of motivating and not an end itself.

6. Communication may be Formal or Informal:

Formal communication follows the formal channels provided in the organisation structure. For example, the Managing Director communicates with the departmental heads, says Finance Manager, finance manager communicates to the deputy finance manager, the deputy finance manager with accounts officer and so on.

In simple words, in informal communication, there is no direct communication between the Managing Director and the accounts clerks. Informal communication flows from informal channels of communication which are not provided in the organisation structure. These channels develop among members because of personal contacts through working with each other.

7. It Flows Up and Down and also from Side to Side:

Communication flows downward from a superior to subordinate and upward from subordinate to a superior. It also flows between two or more persons operating at the same level of authority.

8. It is an Integral Part of the Process of Exchange:

It refers to the exchange of ideas, feelings, emotions and knowledge and information are between two or more persons.

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Effective Communication: Verbal and Non-Verbal, Classroom Communication

communication: Verbal and Non-verbal, Classroom communication


(Effective communication: Verbal and Non-verbal, Inter-Cultural and group communications, Classroom communication)

Introduction to Effective communication

Verbal and Non-verbal, Inter-Cultural and group communications

Classroom communication

Understand the meaning of effective communication

Understand the types and characteristics of Classroom communication

Objectives/Purpose of Communication

The objectives of communication are dynamic and ever-changing. Some of the common objectives of official communication are to get or give information, to ask for or give instructions or advice or suggestions, to make requests, to persuade other people to agree with us.

Sometimes, we communicate with the intention of complaining, or warning; but unfortunately, we do this angrily and get into arguments. If we learn to complain and warn in an acceptable and constructive manner, our serious intention can be conveyed quite effectively without damaging relationships.

In order to caution, counsel, clarify, appraise, evaluate, reprimand, organize and numerous such objectives, we make use of communication.

Evaluation Of Communication Effectiveness

Communication is not an end in itself; rather it is a means to attain other ends or goals. Hence, it has to be effective to be able to attain these goals or objectives. Communication effectiveness can be examined in relation to the following criteria:

Fidelity of Communication: the distortion free quality of a message is called fidelity. An effective person gets the message across to others with minimal possibilities of misunderstanding.

Economy: In an effective communication a minimum of energy time, symbols and cues are used to encode message without losing its fidelity and impact.

Congruence: An effective communication integrates both verbal and non-verbal cues.

Influence: The most important criterion of effectiveness is the influence that the communicator is able to exercise over the receiver of the communication. Influence means the communicator achieve the results he intended.

Relationship Building: effective communication contributes to the building of trust and a better relationship between the source and the target.

Seven C’s of Effective Communication

These are the Seven terms, starting with the letter C, which makes communication more understandable, valuable and effective.

Below are 7 C’s of effective communication which is applicable to both written as well as oral communication.

These are as follows:

Completeness – The communication must be complete. It should convey all the facts required by the audience. The sender of the message must take into consideration the receiver’s mindset and convey the message accordingly. A complete communication has following features:

Complete communication develops and enhances the reputation of an organization.

Moreover, they are cost saving as no crucial information is missing and no additional cost is incurred in conveying the extra message if the communication is complete.

A complete communication always gives additional information wherever required. It leaves no questions in the mind of the receiver.

Complete communication helps in better decision-making by the audience/readers/receivers of the message as they get all desired and crucial information.

It persuades the audience.

Conciseness – Conciseness means wordiness, i.e, communicating what you want to convey in least possible words without forgoing the other C’s of communication. Conciseness is a necessity for effective communication. Concise communication has following features:

It is both time-saving as well as cost-saving.

It underlines and highlights the main message as it avoids using excessive and needless words.

Concise communication provides short and essential message in limited words to the audience.

Concise message is more appealing and comprehensible to the audience.

Concise message is non-repetitive in nature.

Consideration – Consideration implies “stepping into the shoes of others”. Effective communication must take the audience into consideration, i.e, the audience’s viewpoints, background, mindset, education level, etc. Make an attempt to envisage your audience, their requirements, emotions as well as problems. Ensure that the self-respect of the audience is maintained and their emotions are not at harm. Modify your words in a message to suit the audience’s needs while making your message complete. Features of considerate communication are as follows:

Emphasize on “you” approach.

Empathize with the audience and exhibit interest in the audience. This will stimulate a positive reaction from the audience.

Show optimism towards your audience. Emphasize on “what is possible” rather than “what is impossible”. Lay stress on positive words such as jovial, committed, thanks, warm, healthy, help, etc.

Clarity – Clarity implies emphasizing on a specific message or goal at a time, rather than trying to achieve too much at once. Clarity in communication has following features:

It makes understanding easier.

Complete clarity of thoughts and ideas enhances the meaning of the message.

Clear message makes use of exact, appropriate and concrete words.

Concreteness – Concrete communication implies being particular and clear rather than fuzzy and general. Concreteness strengthens the confidence. The concrete message has the following features:

It is supported by specific facts and figures.

It makes use of words that are clear and that build the reputation.

Concrete messages are not misinterpreted.

Courtesy – Courtesy in message implies the message should show the sender’s expression as well as should respect the receiver. The sender of the message should be sincerely polite, judicious, reflective and enthusiastic. The courteous message has the following features:

Courtesy implies taking into consideration both viewpoints as well as feelings of the receiver of the message.

The courteous message is positive and focused at the audience.

It makes use of terms showing respect for the receiver of the message.

It is not at all biased.

Correctness – Correctness in communication implies that there are no grammatical errors in communication. Correct communication has following features:

The message is exact, correct and well-timed.

If the communication is correct, it boosts up the confidence level.

The correct message has a greater impact on the audience/readers.

It checks for the precision and accurateness of facts and figures used in the message.

It makes use of appropriate and correct language in the message.

Awareness of these 7 C’s of communication makes you an effective communicator.

Four S’s of Communication

Four terms starting with letter S, which add to the value of the message in Communication


“Brevity is the soul of wit,” it is said. The same can be said about communication.

If the message can be made brief, and verbosity did away with, then the transmission and comprehension of messages are going to be faster and more effective.

Flooding messages with high sounding words do not create an impact.Many people harbor a misconception that they can actually impress the receiver if they carry on their expeditious travails.

Little do they realize how much they have lost as the receiver has spent a major chunk of his time in trying to decipher the actual meaning of the message.


Simplicity both in the usage of words and ideas reveals clarity in the thinking process.

It is normally a tendency that when an individual is himself confused that he tries to use equally confusing strategies to lead the receiver in a maze.

Reveal clarity in the thinking process by using simple terminology and equally simple concepts.


The strength of a message emanates from the credibility of the sender.

If the sender himself believes in a message that he is about to transmit, there is bound to be strength and conviction in whatever he tries to state.

Halfhearted statements or utterances that the sender himself does not believe in add a touch of falsehood to the entire.


A sincere approach to an issue is clearly evident to the receiver. If the sender is genuine, it will be reflected in the manner in which he communicates.

Suppose there is a small element of deceit involved in the interaction or on the part of the sender.

If the receiver is keen and observant, he would be able to sense the make-believe situation and, business transactions, even if going full swing, would not materialize. 


Classroom communication:  is verbal and non-verbal and is used by both teacher and learners to ensure that a conducive environment is created which supports learning and understanding of the subject matter. Teachers and learners use it to communicate ideas, feelings, attitudes and values.

Functions of classroom communication:

Understanding and insight – Teachers and learners need to understand themselves and each other. Using communication to ask questions that foster reflection is useful in promoting understanding. Teachers use their understanding of learners to deliver content in ways that meet individual needs.

Persuasion and influence – The whole process of teaching and learning is one of trying to influence another person. Teachers try to persuade learners and every teacher will influence their learners whether they like it or not. The important question then becomes: what do you say or do in your classroom in order to create a positive influence. Persuasion can take the form of direct words used intentionally to get a learner to do work, answer a question, change behaviour and so forth.

Promoting learning skills-Learners develop their learning skills when a teacher allows them time to speak more, read texts and discuss in groups as well participate in writing tasks that involve summarizing key ideas from what the teacher says or from their reading. Effective communication is a strong enabling factor for learning so the teacher should promote the communication skills of learners.

Initiate and maintain relationships-Every learner should feel valued and respected by the teacher and other learners. You can imagine a classroom where the positive human connection was absent. Learning would not occur. Communication, in this case, should minimize the need for competition and focus on care and support for others.

Two key roles of classroom communication

There are two main roles in classroom communication: classroom instruction and classroom management.

Classroom instruction

Explaining is a major form of communication in the classroom and it is combined with giving examples, asking questions as well as responding to student answers.  The importance of  preparation and lesson planning which have already been emphasized in the chapter on Teaching Documents cannot be over-emphasized. Structuring the content in small clear steps and moving from known to the unknown is very useful for learners. Communicate always in a manner that shows that the goal of your teaching is to show how knowledge is created progressively from the simple to the complex. Effective communication requires use of a multi-sensory approach that targets as many senses as possible.

Communication and classroom management

Classroom management or control is used by a teacher to ensure that conditions that promote effective and efficient learning are available. Whether you like it or not, you will encounter classrooms where some of your learners will disrupt learning in one way or other. Disruptive behavior or simply student misbehavior has to be handled skillfully and effective classroom communication will help any teacher prevent or deal with inappropriate behavior.

There are many strategies of maintaining classroom control as research in the area of classroom management will reveal. These strategies fall under four general approaches. Let us look at them:

behaviour modification

promoting a socioemotional learning environment

Initiating and managing group process

The authoritative approach.

Use of questioning technique and feedback

The quality of the questions asked determines a teacher’s level of success with the lesson. Quality questions promote deep learning as learners apply reasoning and analytical approaches to the facts they know. There are two types of questions: closed type and open-ended.

Closed questions fall at the bottom of the hierarchy of knowledge (see Bloom’s taxonomy) and deal more with a recall of facts. An effective teacher uses these questions sparingly and shows greater interest in higher-order open-ended questions. Higher-order questions challenge students to think critically and creatively.

How a teacher responds to student answers requires skilful communication. In providing feedback, you should encourage learners to talk by responding positively to failure. Ask them to clarify, respond in ways that fire their curiosity and work with them to look for an answer, probe their answers and guide them towards alternative points of view.

Feedback should be given both verbally and non-verbally and also directly and indirectly. Indirect feedback is given to the student in a manner that may not use the learner’s name and the teacher directs it to the whole class. You say, “ I can see a good number of you have taken the advice I gave last time… I am pleased with the way some of you are working on this problem. You have the right resources on the table…Some of you are now asking really good questions..” 

                         Barriers to effective communication.


The information to be communicated should be clear and accurate. If an individual sends the message, and the other one receives it and interprets it in the same way as the sender had intended to express, the process of communication is said to be complete and successful.  However, Communication is not always successful. Certain barriers in communication affect the clarity, accuracy, and effectiveness of the message.

Several things can prevent the message from reaching the intended recipient or from having the desired effect on the recipient. There may be some fault in the communication system as well.

Types of Communication Barriers

As the barriers to communication influence the major variables in the communication process, they may be categorized on various bases.


The ideas and massage have to reach from the transmitter to receive in the same sense. If it does not happen, it is on account of barriers to communication.Main Key Point of barriers can be explained as follows:

Semantic barriers

This barrier is related to the process of coding and decoding the message. Various types of semantic gaps found in the day-to-day use of people are as follows:

Words having similar pronunciation but multiple meanings: Same pronunciation but are having many meanings. For example sight, site, cite.

Badly expressed message: Lack of clarity and precision makes the message badly expressed. Lack of coherence, awkward sentence structure, jargons etc. is common faults, which lead to such messages.

Wrong interpretation: Whenever one interprets a symbol, his understanding may differ from others.

The Hindi word ‘kaka’ means uncle in one part of the country but the small boy in another part of the country.

Technical Language: When technical language is used in the communication process, it creates barriers in understanding the message in the same sense and the same spirit. When technical jargon or specialist languages are used in the communication and conversation process, they create tension, confusion, and misunderstanding between the sender and the receiver.

New meanings given to ordinary words by computer technology; to people who are not familiar with computers, “mouse” is only an animal, whereas, in computer jargon, it is a device.

Organizational Barriers

It may originate in contradictory management policies or too many levels of management or the clash between line and staff operations. The specialized nature of functions or even the special language of those functions may cause it. It may have its source in formal-informal, or grapevine transactions. Following are the organizational barriers in communication:

Organization culture and climate: In every organization, there exists a unique culture and climate. The climate and culture of an organization ultimately influence the freedom, thrust, and interaction pattern among people in an organization.

Organizational rules and regulations: The rules and regulations of the organization vary widely from one organization to another. They may be so rigid that they may influence the flow of information in the wrong direction.

Status relationships: The status, power, and position relationship acts as the hurdle in the effectiveness of communications. Individuals may not be able to say what they wish to say because of their fear for the position and power of the other party in the communication process. The complex hierarchical structure of the organization like too tall or too much divisionalisation of the organization may not facilitate the free flow of communication.

Lack of cooperation between superior and subordinate: There may not be proper cooperation between the superior and subordinate for various personal or organizational relationships, which may hold to improper communication in an organization.

Interpersonal Barriers

The effectiveness of Communication depends a lot on the interpersonal relationship between two people. If and when the sender and receiver are at the same economic, educational and status level and also have a good rapport with each other, there is hardly any barrier arising in communication. But, in case of a difference at any level, there is a greater chance of Miscommunication. The most common example for this in an organization is the Barriers relating to Superior and Subordinate.

The subordinate must follow the order of the superior, carry out all work efficiently, and provide full information related to any matter, which arises in the organization or any work. Moreover, the superior should have full confidence in himself and the subordinate.

Lack of proper channel: There may be complexity in the organizational structure, which may influence proper and effective communication from the subordinate. They may not feel free to communicate because of the pressure of position power and authority.

No interest to communicate: There may not be any interest on the part of subordinates to have a dialogue, discussion, and interaction with their superiors, which affects the communication process adversely.

Lack of cooperation: lack of cooperation and mutual understanding also leads to the hiding of certain information between the superior and subordinates in the organization.

Lack of trust: There may be a lack of trust and coordination between the superior and the subordinate, which may lead to infective communication.

The poor relationship between superior and subordinate: A good relationship must develop between superiors and subordinates frequently and freely. They must interact to improve the upward and downward communication system. The superior must listen to the subordinates’ suggestion, their problems, and must have faith in them. In the absence of all this, it may so happen that what the superior speaks, the subordinate may not understand it.

Fear of penalty: If the subordinate feels that because of free expression and upward communication he will face some type of penalty, there is a possibility that he may not provide a full or correct message to the superior.

Individual / Psycho-sociological Barriers:

Individual or Psycho-sociological barriers are the prime barriers in interpersonal communication. People have different styles of communication. People also have personal feelings, desires, fears, hopes, likes, dislikes, attitudes, views and opinions. The meaning assigned to a message depends upon the emotional or psychological status of both the parties involved in the process of communication.

Style: Style, how a person communicates, involves many elements, though style overlaps with several of the other factors in the analysis, it adds its distinct flavor.

Selective perception: The receiver may make a world of his own around himself. He projects his interest and expectations as he decodes messages. He may only take that much piece of information, which may suit his world of thinking. As a result, the person acquires incomplete and inappropriate information, which influences the communication process. Having a poor self-concept or self-understanding, or a poor understanding of others can cause perceptual distortions.

Halo effect: People do not listen carefully because of impressions based on earlier encounters. Even one of the parties having a halo effect will disrupt the flow of communication.

Status relationship: There maybe status and power relationships, which may hinder the communication process and affect the effectiveness of communication. Status effects also hinder communication is as much as people occupying higher positions in the organization tend to “tell a lot to subordinates but not to listen, effective communication is not possible.

Poor attention and Retention: About half of the information, if not properly retained, is lost. The sender may suffer from each problem. It also said that about 30% of the information is lost in each oral transmission. Human memory may not always retain what it is told. This causes communication breakdown and necessitates the repetition of the message using several channels

Inattention: The preoccupied mind of the receiver and the reluctant non-listening is one of the major psychological barriers. It is because of it that people do not react to ideas/messages received in communication.

Undue importance of written words: The undue importance given to the written words may lead to loss of information. The successive information is not accurate and right. Written communication often tells what is to be done but not why it should be done. It takes the persuasive quality.

Defensiveness: If one feels threatened by a message, one becomes defensive and responds in such ways that reduce the understanding. Such defensive behavior prevents understanding.

Closed Mind: Limited intellectual background, limited reading, and narrow interests can cause a person’s mind to be narrow. This limits the ability to take in new ideas. People with closed minds do not take in any new information or suggestions to change.

State of Health: Physical condition can affect the efficiency of all communication skills. In the case of poor health condition, the communicating ability is reduced as the mind is not alert and perception is low.

Filtering: Filtering is the process of reducing the details or aspects of a message. Each person who receives the message reduces it according to his or her understanding of the situation. In this process, much of the important information may be lost or misinterpreted and the sender will fail to convey what he wants to convey.

Cross-Cultural/ Geographic Barriers:

Culture is a shared set of values and attributes of a group; it is the total of the ways of living built up by a group and transmitted from one generation to another. Culture is so much a part of an individual’s manner of talking, behaving and thinking, that communication style and competence are influenced by it.

Some of the significant differences between cultures are:

National Character/ Basic Personality.


Values and norms of behavior

Social relationships

Concepts of time

Concepts of space

Nonverbal communication


Words, colors, and symbols have different meanings in different cultures. For example:

In England, an invitation for dinner 8 pm would see most guests arriving at about 8.15; in Germany punctually is king; in Greece, 9 to 9.30 might be the norm; in India even later- if at all.

In most parts of the world nodding your head means agreement, shaking your head means no-except in some parts of India, where the reverse is true.

When the Japanese say “Yes”, they mean, “Yes, I am listening”. The Americans may take it to mean, “Yes, I agree”.

Wearing white colour on marriage may be forbidden in some cultures, whereas, in other cultures, the main wedding dress is white.

Physical Barriers/ Channel and Media Barriers

Physical distractions cause a lot of noise, often literally: insufficiently insulated rooms with car noises filtering through, poor lighting, and such things as frequent movement of bodies postures, with a pen in the hand, even the arrival of coffee at a critical stage on the communication process are the causes of communication barriers in organizations. Constant telephone interruptions are one of the commonest physical distractions. These obstacles prevent a message from reaching the intended recipient.

The following obstacles are considered under this category:

Noise: Noise is any disturbance that occurs in the transmission process. In face-to-face conversation without a microphone, the air may be disturbed by noise in the environment such as traffic, factory work, a typewriter clattering away in a nearby office and people talking, and so on. Wider connotation of noise includes many other factors that are likely to hinder communication. Sometimes, the inner chatting going on in the mind of the listener, which distracts the message received, is also termed as Noise.

Environment: Interferences may also arise from external transceivers, number of links in the chain, and circumstantial factors:

The same sort of differentiation in circumstances counts for the channels within each of the levels and in broader terms for oral, written, and non-verbal communication.

For example, a speech delivered before a small dinner gathering will be different from the same speech delivered before an auditorium full of people. Everyone is markedly different while sitting to watch a cricket match rather than a legal hearing. Still another circumstantial feature a listener who has to stand because the seats are all taken is generally not the same as he or she would be if seated comfortably

Defects in the Medium: Defects in the devices used for transmitting communication are external and usually not in the control of the sender or receiver. The telephone, the postal system, the courier service or even the electronic media may fail or break down.


A few technical aspects in communication barriers are briefly narrated by Murphy’s Law on communication: Following are the basics in this law on communication:

Communication usually fails. Except by chance, it succeeds. On account of various barriers, the possibility of success in the flow of communication is rare.

If the message can be understood, in different ways, it will be understood in just the way that does the most harm. People receive massage in their way. In most of the cases, the most harmful side of communication is considered.

It refers to the sender manipulating information so that the receiver will see it as more favorable. In organizations, the information is condensed and synthesized. Objective information does not reach the authority. The more vertical levels in the organization’s hierarchy, the more opportunities there are for filtering.

Meta communication. In a communication apart from the message, there is a Meta message. Meta message exists in the people’s minds because of their actions such as being hard to contact. It is the most important thing in seat word language.

Noise in the communication process. Noise can enter the communication process because of situational factors. It is one of the factors influencing the communication process. Noise is mostly related to mechanical distractions. A few noise distractions are as follows: (i) Human sounds, (ii) Traffic, (iii) Telephone instruments (iv) Channel defects (v) Birds (vi) Trees (vii) Fans (viii) Chalk writing (ix) Use of Duster (x) Projector and (xi) Nasal Voice


Constant effort is required to overcome the barriers which unconsciously creep up in the process of Communication. Barriers can be overcome if sufficient effort is put into the communication process and it is desired that communication be effective and efficientOne way of reducing the effects of these barriers is to check continuously during the communication process what the massage is. The actions to be taken by the Sender, Receiver and together with the two of them, to achieve this are listed below:

Sender: The sender should be clear about the following Ws and H:

WHO To whom should the message go?

WHY Why should I communicate? What are the motives?

WHAT Decide what to communicate. Be clear about what one needs to communicate.

WHEN The best time for optimum reception is chosen.

HOW Use a language, which the receiver will understand and which is unambiguous.

WHERE Choose a location which will not interfere with the reception, understanding and acceptance of the message: Privately? Home or away? In a group? At work or outside?

Receiver: The receiver can be aware of the following, to overcome the barriers:

Be fully attentive to the sender.

Listen actively to the message being sent.

Ask for clarification and repetition wherever necessary.

Keep checking the receipt of information with the sender.

Both:  Receiver and Sender can make the Communication Flawless if they:

Realize that misunderstandings are bound to occur, and be alert for all cues to this effect.

Listen, listen, listen, and listen again.

Share opinions, feelings, and perceptions generated by the message.

Note thus, both parties separately as well as together have to work to remove the barriers and achieve communication effectiveness. For example, a manager tries to get things done through other people. The management of people can be called leadership, and all of us have our preferred leadership styles, which affect how we communicate with others, especially our staff.

Measures to Overcome Barriers in Communication

Following are some of the additional measures to overcome the barriers to communication:

Fostering good relationship: Strong relationships must be fostered between the employer and the employee to avoid misunderstanding and accept each other’s viewpoints to remove the barriers and to facilitate proper communication in the organization.

Purposeful and well-focused Communication: Communication should be purposeful and directed to an individual. At the end of the Communication, the receiver should not be left to feel that communication had been meaningless or useless.

Coordination between superiors and subordinates: In case the superior thinks on one line, which is different from the subordinate and vice versa, it will affect the effectiveness of communication. Therefore, there should be good and proper coordination and cooperation between the superior and subordinate for effective communication.

Avoid technical language: The specialized language should be avoided. There should be all efforts to use the language commonly understood by the receiver and sender of the message. There should be the least use of technical jargon in the communication process.

Feedback: The selective perception of the receiver should be minimized through proper feedback. The drawback of selective perception should be explained to minimize the barriers.

Accuracy: There should be accuracy in the message to be transmitted between parties to the communication to improve its effectiveness.

The clarity in the message: The message to be transferred should be clear, practical accurate and without any ambiguity.

Communication of organizational philosophy: Efforts have to be made in a planned way to sensitize people with organizational philosophy. It should be properly communicated to its employees so that they give proper attention to their day-to-day communication.

Flat organizational structure: The organization should have a clear-cut and simple organizational structure. The tall hierarchical structure should be removed, and it should be changed to a flat structure to avoid excessive control of information. Wrong information to be transferred to anyone in the organization will prove detrimental. Proper redesign of organizational structure will reduce the status gap. The status effect can occur when one person is considerably higher in the hierarchy than another.

Division of labour: There should be proper division of labour between the persons to reduce information overload and prevent delay in information transfer.

Organization policies: The organization should formulate its policies in such a way that it will give full advantage to all members of the organization. It should be flexible and easy to implement. While the organization’s goal must be clear, everyone must know about his position, his right in organizational communication. The network has to be fully developed so that no such type of barrier exists. Moreover, there should be consistency when message a passed from sender to receiver. One should not introduce his view in the message. It must be clear and understood by everyone easily. The timeline in the message should be there. If it is not passed in time, such a message will be of no use.

Minimize semantic problem: People use either the same word in different ways or different words in the same way. One will be surprised to know that there are 15 different meanings of the word ‘charge’ in the English language. They also occur when people use jargons or professional shorthand which they expect others to understand, or language which is outside the other’s vocabulary.

Proper communication channels: If one wants immediate action from the receiver, there is no need to send a lengthy discussion report. One would probably pick up the telephone or go to his office to tell him what to do. Remember also that one picture is worth a thousand words, and in this age of computer graphics, the information can be produced more quickly in this way too.

Right feedback: Although one-way communication is quicker, two-way communication is more accurate. In complex situations, it helps both the sender and receiver to measure their understanding and improves their joint commitment to the task. It enables both parties to identify and correct misunderstandings leading to a higher quality of reception and acceptance.

To communicate effectively, we need to overcome all the barriers and own skills to improve the existing communication abilities

                     MASS MEDIA AND SOCIETY

Media is the reflection of our society and it depicts what and how society works. Media, either it is printed, electronic or the web is the only medium, which helps in making people informed. It also helps in entertaining the public, educate and make people aware of the current happenings.

There are different media involved in the process of mass communication. They reach every corner of the world and are very powerful. They invade even the privacy of our bedrooms. They inform, educate, entertain and persuade. They also help in the transmission of culture and perform the job of surveillance of society.

They are the mass media. The major functions of mass communication are that it informs, enriches, educates and entertains.

Social media is becoming one of the most popular and most accessed media of communication these days. Social media has brought different people from the different geographical area on one platform on which they can share their feeling, ideas, emotions, information and much more.

The Manifold social networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp,  Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and others open the door to share ideas, views, and thoughts on the same platform.

With the advancement of science and technology, the world has come close to each other. Today people don’t have to wait for the dissemination process but the condition is such that every social media user has become a source of information on their own.

The daily news and views to which the social media user comes across to cover a wide range of topics. These topics or subjects are related to the happenings of our surrounding. People can like, show emotions through the list of emoticons or even comment accordingly.

The social media act as an umbrella that constitutes a variety of interesting features that have our life very easier. Features of tagging friends, location sharing, photo and video uploads, message chatting, video calling, searching friends etc have made our life more engaging.

Objective : 

To understand the meaning of Mass Communication

To discuss the elements involved in Mass Communication

To study the importance of Mass Communication

To study the features of different media of Mass Communication

To know the need for Mass communication

What is Mass Communication & mass media

Outside the realm of interpersonal communication exists another form of communication, which involves communication with mass audiences and hence the name mass communication; and the channels through which this kind of communication takes place are referred to as mass media

Mass communication is the term used to describe the academic study of various means by which individuals and entities relay information to large segments of the population all at once through mass media.

Both mass communication and mass media are generally considered synonymous for the sake of convenience. The media through which messages are being transmitted include radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, films, records, tape recorders, video cassette recorders, internet, etc. and require large organizations and electronic devices to put across the message.

Mass communication can also be defined as ‘a process whereby mass-produced messages are transmitted to large, anonymous and heterogeneous masses of receivers’. By ‘mass-produced’ we mean putting the content or message of mass communication in a form suitable to be distributed to large masses of people.

‘Heterogeneous’ means that the individual members of the mass are from a wide variety of classes of the society. ‘Anonymous’ means the individuals in the mass do not know each other. The source or sender of the message in mass communication does not know the individual members of the mass. Also, the receivers in mass communication are physically separated from each other and share no physical proximity.

 Elements & Characteristics of Mass communication

We require a sender, a message, a channel and a receiver for communication to occur. Further, there is feedback, which is the response or reaction of the receiver,  which comes back to the sender through the same or some other channel. Another element, which plays an important role in communication, is noise or the disturbances.

It is observed that the term mass communication must have at least five aspects:

Large audience

Fairly undifferentiated audience composition

Some form of message reproduction

Rapid distribution and delivery

Low cost to the consumers

Characteristics of Mass communication:

Directs messages toward the relatively large, heterogeneous and anonymous audience.

Messages are transmitted publicly no privacy.

Short duration message for immediate consumption

Feedback is indirect, non-existent or delayed

Cost per exposure per individual is minimum

Source belongs to organization or institutions

Mostly one way

Types of mass media

Mass media can be classified according to their physical form, the technology involved and the nature of the communication process.

The general classification on this basis is as follows:

Traditional Media- The traditional arts and folk arts combine several art forms like dance, music, songs and theatre to attract audiences. The performances are spontaneous and most often made on the spot.

Print Media- Print media served as the major means of communication reaching a wide audience. Major forms of print media are :


Magazines and periodicals


Electronic Media- The history of electronic media starts with the invention of cinematography by Lumiere Brothers who conducted the premiere show of cinema in 1895. Later the radio was invented by Guglielmo Marconi. The first radio station was set up in Pittsburg, New York and Chicago in the 1920s.

In short, the term electronic media mainly include  Film, Radio & Television.

New Media/Social Media & Others- Internet and the World Wide Web opened up several new avenues for mass communication which include e-mail, websites, podcasts, e-books, blogging, social networking sites, Internet Protocol Television, Internet radio and the like. These kinds of online and digital means of producing, transmitting and receiving messages are called new media.

Social media has brought different people from the different geographical area on one platform on which they can share their feeling, ideas, emotions, information and much more.

The Manifold social networking sites like Facebook, WhatsApp,  Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google +, and others open the door to share ideas, views, and thoughts on the same platform.

Functions of mass media

In a society like ours, mass media have a responsible role to play in fostering democracy, plurality and communal harmony through the functions listed below.

Information and education.



Political awareness

Cultural transmission

Catalyst to development

After having a discussion on these ideal functions of mass media in any society, you will be able to analyze how our mass media perform their function.

Information and education.

Mass media carry a lot of information which are essential for our day to day life. We get examination results, weather forecasts, current affairs, traffic regulations, alerts, precautions, government policies etc. from mass media. The core of the media’s information function is performed by the media content called news. Good media try to carry accurate, objective and complete information since biased or incomplete reports will keep the audience away from the media.

News based contents like reports, features, photos, cartoons and editorials and now news contents like advertisements educate people about the newest trends in their surroundings. Mass media assist formal education system also, by publicizing information on educational programmes, publishing special educational supplements and inspiring society to acquire higher education.

Educational supplements published by various Malayalam newspapers, educational television and radio channels are examples for educational services of mass media.

Vyas Channel of the Consortium of Educational Communication under the University Grants Commission and Gyandarshan of Doordarshan are some of such efforts. The Gyanvani is an educational radio channel of Indira Gandhi National Open University (IGNOU).


We all need the entertainment to break the monotony of our hectic, stressful life and divert our attention from the troubles and tensions. All media have entertainment content. Newspapers publish cartoons, comics, puzzles and special weekend supplements. The lion’s share of magazine content such as short stories, novels, satires and comics are also intended to entertain the audience


Socialization means empowering people to acquire norms and experiences of the group as a whole, to maintain cultural consensus and communal harmony. It is through mass media that we know the cultural and social norms of various groups in our society.

Based on this information, individuals honour others and behave according to the common values and thus create an integrated society.

Political awareness

If you analyze the mass media, be it television or newspapers, most of their content, especially news, is centred on politics in our society. We see our leaders criticize officials and political leaders and advocate for better living conditions during panel discussions on television. Similarly, journalists expose corruption, show up developments, and condemn or praise political activities considering their merits.

These actions of the media make our democracy vibrant. Thus mass media assume a key role in setting the agenda for the entire political system and policymaking by forming public opinion on various issues. This process is called an agenda-setting function.

This function is as important as that of other estates of democracy – the legislature, the bureaucracy and the judiciary. Thus the media is regarded as the Fourth Estate of Democracy.

Cultural transmission

Mass media are the bridge between our past and present. They report day to day affairs which will become the history of tomorrow. The best records of modern history are newspapers of yesteryears. We get our cultural tradition from history and we follow the best of them. In keeping our culture flowing, the media play a vital role. It focuses on the genuine aspects of our culture and points out the undesirable trends.

Catalyst to development

Mass media report problems faced by people in different walks of life and make the administrators aware of them. Media also make people aware of their rights, the details of government subsidies, development policies etc. They point out the merits and demerits of certain projects. In short, the media support development either being the advocates of government-sponsored development or critics of development projects which needs to be amended.

This development-oriented function of media is termed as Development Communication. Development Communication has been recognized as a specialized area in communication studies and research.

Importance of Mass media

-The pervasiveness of Mass Media

-Mass Communication Informs

-Mass Media Entertains

-Mass Communication Persuades

-Mass Communication Binds

The mass media have an important role in a modern democratic society as the main channel of communication.

The population relies on the news media as the main source of information and the basis on which they form their opinions and voting decisions. Any selection of messages in the mass media will thus have a profound effect on the entire society.

Competition has become increasingly keen in the area of the mass media as they keep fighting for the attention of the readers, listeners, and TV-viewers.

The life and death of each newspaper and TV station are at stake here when the income from advertising and sponsoring is proportional to the number of readers or viewers.

The printed media have problems competing with electronic media as sources of news. To survive, they are increasingly turning to other strategies such as entertainment, titillation, scandal-mongering, and spreading fear and spending fewer resources on serious researching of news.

This is not only about the survival of the fittest of the news media; it is also about the cultural selection and political selection.

How mass-media Influence us

The degree of influence depends on the availability and pervasiveness of media. traditional mass media still have great influence over our lives. Books once were supremely influential because they came first before newspapers, magazines, radio or television.

Newspapers and magazines became great influences after they were developed. Sound recordings and film were and still are influential. Radio and then television was very influential. As the 20th century closed, TV exposed us to untold numbers of images of advertising and marketing, suffering and relief, sexuality and violence, celebrity, and much more.

New and influential media-distribution channels have appeared in the 21st century. Delivered via the World Wide Web across the Internet, we are influenced daily by blogs, wikis, social networks, virtual worlds and myriad forms of content sharing.

We have put our trust on the media as an authority to give us news, entertainment and education. However, the influence of mass media on our kids, teenagers and society is so big that we should know how it works.

The media makes billions of dollars with the advertising they sell and that we are exposed to, every single moment. We buy what we are told to buy by the media.

After seeing thousands of advertising’s we make our buying decisions based on what we saw on tv, newspapers or magazines. These are the effects of mass media especially in teenagers, they buy what they see on tv, what their favourite celebrity advertise and what is acceptable by society based on the fashion that the media has imposed on them.