The SAGE Key Concepts series provide students with accessible and authoritative knowledge of the essential topics in a variety of disciplines. Cross-referenced throughout, the format encourages critical evaluation through understanding. Written by experienced and respected academics, the books are indispensable study aids and guides to comprehension. Key Concepts in Journalism offers a systematic and accessible introduction to the terms, processes, and effects of journalism;a combination of practical considerations with theoretical issues; and further reading suggestions. The authors bring an enormous range of experience in newspaper and broadcast journalism, at national and regional level, as well as their teaching expertise. This book will be essential reading for students in journalism, and an invaluable reference tool for their professional careers.
Mass communication is the ‘technologically and institutionally based mass production and distribution’ of symbols, images and messages (Gerbner, 1967: 51) to a heterogeneous and (largely) non-interactive audience – in other words, communication through the mass media. This only becomes possible ‘when technological means are available and social organisations emerge for the mass production and distribution of messages’ (ibid.: 50). Only modern mass-mediated communication is defined as such, excluding prior forms of public communication involving large groups of audience members, such as public speaking, plays and town criers.
Modern mass communication is not only technologically different to prior forms of public communication, it is also conceptually and [Page 141]ideologically different. First, there is no assurance that a mass (e.g. TV or radio) broadcast is even ...