• Summary
  • Contents

“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.

Communication: Signal Transmission and Interpretation
Communication: Signal transmission and interpretation

The word communication comes from the root common and has to do with making something (e.g., information) common. After something is told, it is known to both the person who tells and the person who is told. The root word common also leads to the word community: The process of telling and making information common implies some sort of relationship between teller and told. The study of communication is a study of the processes by which information is told and community is maintained.


The process of telling something requires that a message be created in such a form that it can be perceived and interpreted. The message itself can take many forms, as long as it is perceivable ...

locked icon

Sign in to access this content

Get a 30 day FREE TRIAL

  • Watch videos from a variety of sources bringing classroom topics to life
  • Read modern, diverse business cases
  • Explore hundreds of books and reference titles