• 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.

Structure and Relevance
Structure and relevance

Chapter 4 introduced the idea of code structure and distinguished between the internal structure of a code (constraints on the relationship among its elements in a typical message) and its external structure (the relationship of its elements to external events, ideas, and communicative purposes). Chapter 5 will explore the concept of external structure further and link the external structure of a code to the concept of relevance, first introduced in Chapters 1 and 2.

Signal transmission theory explicitly assumes a manufactured signal transmission system. The transmitter and receiver are designed to recognize certain phenomena as signals and ignore the rest. Paul Revere's signaling system established a system in which lights counted as part of the signal if and only if they ...

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