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MAC 111

INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION

lay the groundwork for future contact. Your encoder might transmit "Hi, I'm Sam," a less intimidating statement than the preceding one.

Another problem inherent in the communication process is the possibility that the encoder, deficient in some way, might substitute the wrong sounds in the process of transmission. Your message could come out, "Hello, my game is Ham." This could lead to embarrassment. But if the receiver's decoding system were faulty, she might hear, "Hello, my what a dame!" Or the communication channel might be overloaded with hundreds of other people speaking simultaneously throughout the assembly hall, and Susan would not hear you. One other possibility is that the cultural norms of Susan's society might not permit her to respond to a stranger. Your communication would be ineffective.

Although we have discussed a fairly uncomplicated situation, the process analysis approach to communication provides a frame of reference for looking at the most complex communication situations, whether interpersonal or mass.

SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE 3

Highlight and briefly discuss the major challenges that are militating against the communication process

4.0CONCLUSION

The source is oftentimes referred to as the chief communicator because without it nothing is done in the communication process. The source is influenced by its communication skill, knowledge level, socio-cultural context and attitude. Equally, the medium is important. Marshall McLuhan argues that the medium is the message. A message of the same content and quality that passes through CNN and NTA will definitely have different meaning and impact on the audience. However, the choice of medium is determined by availability of the medium to the communicator, cost of using the medium, choice, and audience of the medium, credibility of the medium in terms of respect and integrity and adaptability to message being disseminated.

5.0SUMMARY

This unit has explored the nitty gritty of the communication process, vis- a-vis, the process and the elements. The unit equally attempted a thorough analysis of the communication process, with particular emphasis on the factors that influence the communication process.

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INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION

6.0TUTOR-MARKED ASSIGNMENT

What is the impact of the medium on messages communicated? Will a message communicated through CNN be much more impactful than that communicated through NTA? Give convincing reasons for your answer.

7.0REFERENCES/FURTHER READINGS

Baran, S.J. (2002). Introduction to Mass Communication. New York: McGraw Hill.

Bitner, R. (1989). Mass Communication: An Introduction. New Jersey:

Prentice Hall.

Sambe J.A.. Introduction to Mass Communication Practice in Nigeria. Ibadan: Spectrum Books Limited

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MAC 111

INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION

UNIT 4 MODELS OF COMMUNICATION

CONTENTS

1.0 Introduction

2.0 Objectives

3.0Main Content

3.1Aristotle and Lasswell Models

3.2Shannon and Weaver’s Model

3.3Schramm

3.4HUB Model

4.0Conclusion

5.0Summary

6.0Tutor-Marked Assignment

7.0References/Further Readings

1.0INTRODUCTION

This unit exposes students to the variety of ways through which communication could be conceptualized and examined. The models mentioned in this unit are named after their originators. In this unit, students shall see how the models could be used to understand the concept of communication better. Specifically, the models are categorized under the following:

1)Aristotle and Lasswell Models

2)Shannon and Weaver’s Model

3)Schramm

4)HUB Model

2.0OBJECTIVES

At the end of this unit, you should be able to:

explain the various models used in understanding or interpreting the concept and process of communication

apply such models to particular situations and issues surrounding the field of communication.

3.0MAIN CONTENT

A model is a symbolic representation that shows how elements of a structure or system relate for analysis and discussion purposes. Communication models help to explain the process of communication.

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INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION

3.1Aristotle's Model

Aristotle, writing 300 years before the birth of Christ, provided an explanation of oral communication that is still worthy of attention. He called the study of communication "rhetoric" and spoke of three elements within the process. He provided us with this insight: Rhetoric falls into three divisions, determined by the three classes of listeners to speeches. Of the three elements in speech-making — speaker, subject, and person addressed — it is the last one, the hearer, that determines the speech's end and object. Here, Aristotle speaks of a communication process composed of a speaker, a message and a listener. Note, he points out that the person at the end of the communication process holds the key to whether or not communication takes place.

LASSWELL'S MODEL

Harold Lasswell (1948), in proposing a convenient way to describe communication, came out with the model which was expressed in terms of the basic elements of the communication process. According to Lasswell, communication occurs when:

a source sends a message

through a medium

to a receiver

producing some effect

Lasswell proposed a verbal model to describe the process through which communication works. The model requires answer to the following questions:

Who

Says what

In which channel

To whom

With what effect?

The point in Lasswell's comment is that there must be an "effect" if communication takes place. If we have communicated, we've "motivated" or produced an effect. It is also interesting to note that Lasswell's version of the communication process mentions four parts — who, what, channel, whom. Three of the four parallel parts mentioned by Aristotle — speaker (who), subject (what), person addressed (whom). Only channel has been added.

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MAC 111 INTRODUCTION TO MASS COMMUNICATION

SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE 1

Identify and discuss the major difference between Aristotle and Lasswell’s Model?

3.2 Shannon and Weaver’s Model

Claude Shannon developed this model while trying to know what happens to “information bits” as they travel from the source to the receiver in telephone communication. In the process, he isolated the key elements of the Communication process, but missed out feedback which was later added by his colleague, Warren Weaver.

Figure 1: SHANNON AND WEAVER’S MODEL

The elements include:

a)The Communication: All communication are composed of chains or systems; and a system or chain is no stronger than its weakest link.

b)The information and communication source: The entity (individual, group or organisation) that originates the message.

c)The Message: The information itself, which may be verbal or nonverbal, visual, auditory, or tactile.

d)The Transmitter: The person, establishment (or equipment) that encodes and transmits the message on behalf of the source; the transmitter may be the source.

e)The Channel: The avenue through which the message is transmitted to the receiver.

f)The Destination: the central nervous system (e.g. the human brain) where the message is processed for final use.

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g)Noise: This is anything added to the information signal but not intended by the information source, and therefore causing distortion in the message.

Shannon and Weaver attempted to do two things:

1)reduce the communication process to a set of mathematical formulas and

2)discuss problems that could be handled with the model.

Shannon and Weaver were not particularly interested in the sociological or psychological aspects of communication. Instead, they wanted to devise a communication system with as close to 100 percent efficiency as possible.

The "noise" concept introduced by Shannon and Weaver can be used to illustrate "semantic noise" that interferes with communication. You will note that the Shannon and Weaver diagram has essentially the same parts as the one formulated by Aristotle. It's true the parts have different names, and a fourth component — in this case the transmitter — is included.

SELF ASSESSMENT EXERCISE 2

How complementary is the efforts of Warren Weaver to the initial efforts of Claude Shannon in their bid to know what happens to “information bits” as they travel from the source to the receiver in telephone communication.

3.3Schramm's Model

This model made a clear case for delayed feedbacks in mass communication.

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Fig. 2 SCHRAMM'S MODEL OF MASS COMMUNICATION

Wilbur Schramm, a well-known communications theorist, developed a straightforward communications model. In Schramm's model he notes, as did Aristotle, that communication always requires three elements — the source, the message and the destination. Ideally, the source encodes a message and transmits it to its destination via some channel, where the message is received and decoded.

However, taking the sociological aspects involved in communication into consideration, Schramm points out that for understanding to take place between the source and the destination, they must have something in common. If the source's and destination's fields of experience overlap, communication can take place. If there is no overlap, or only a small area in common, communication is difficult, if not impossible.

Schramm also formulated a model that explains the process involved in mass communication.

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