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“Overall, Ritchie provides an excellent introduction to Shannon's theories of communication and the associated ideas concerning information.” – Library Quarterly SERIES QUOTE: “The second volume in the series is titled information and the third volume is Gatekeeping. Taking their lead from Chaffee, both Ritchie and Shoemaker carefully explicate the concepts which focus their texts. As is the first volume in the series, these are well-thought out, succinct, and very readable volumes. Additional titles are planned…. If the standards set by these three are continued, this promises to be an exciting series which provides clarity and focus to the study of communication.” – ETC: A Review of General Semantics Challenging, intriguing, complex–defining information has occupied many of the best minds in the field of communication for half a century. Information seeks to summarize and resolve the difficult issues associated with this endeavor. Ritchie succinctly explains the distinctions among the myriad definitions/understandings of information and why these distinctions are important. Providing a definition for information, he then explores how the concept of information can connect various aspects of the communication process in a coherent way. This analysis ranges across several levels of conceptual usage: technical meaning in engineering; the complex meanings of information; and its metaphorical usage by communication theorists.

Information in Communication Science
Information in communication science

What is information? We routinely say that one book is more informative than another, that one medium is a better source of information, that a meeting was uninformative. We get our living in an information age by doing information work. We buy, sell, conceal, and reveal information, and we seek information to reduce our uncertainty. Information is central to an understanding of human communication.

Communication scientists and scholars sometimes use the word information in a broad way, relying on the general sense of the word to convey their meaning. A student or reader may be expected to understand ideas such as an “informative speech,” “information resources,” and “information gatherers” without the need of a precise conceptual definition. However, when ...

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