• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

The discipline of communication has grown in popularity from the time professors of journalism and speech decided, in the mid-1960s, that the term “communication” was an excellent general descriptor for the theory and research that each group aspired to create.  Over time, the two groups grew closer and recognized significant overlap in their theoretical and research interests, but there were also differences in their traditions that kept them apart.  While both groups agreed that communication is a practical discipline, journalism professors focused a great deal of their attention on the education of media professionals.  Speech professors, on the other hand, often were more oriented to the liberal arts and valued the fact that communication could be approached from a variety of traditions, including the arts, ...


Human communication always takes place in a context, through a medium, and among individuals and groups situated historically, politically, economically, culturally, and socially. This state of affairs is neither bad nor good. It simply is. Bias is a small word that identifies these influences.

All forms of communication are subject to multiple biases—personal biases, psychological biases, political biases, and cultural biases. Bias is generally thought to cause distortion in messages that might otherwise be delivered and received in some pure or true form. The antidote for bias is supposed to be something called objectivity. There are two senses in which to understand objectivity in communication. First, objectivity, similar to the scientific method, is an inductive process of gathering facts and presenting the truth based on ...

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