• 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, ...

Professional Communication Practices
Professional communication practices

Since ancient times, certain individuals have earned their living as professional communicators. Before the invention of writing, poets and storytellers functioned as entertainers, teachers, and historians, supported by the audience to whom they communicated the community's greatest truths. The earliest forms of written language were developed and used by professional scribes, who continued to play an important role well into the Renaissance. Both society and communication technologies have grown more complex over the centuries, giving rise to specialization among professional communicators.

The jobs of the ancient poet are spread among today's artists, teachers, media celebrities, and motivational speakers. The scribe's legal and administrative functions are now performed by lawyers, accountants, journalists, and legislators. With the invention of the printing press, and ...

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