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1 COURSE CODE: CSS 414 COURSE TITLE: COMMUNICATION AND SOCIETY COURSE OUTLINE: - Communication -The mass media - Media ownership and control - The Nigerian social structure - Culture and the mass media - Cultural imperialism and media dependency - Globalisation and the mass media - Technology and the mass media - Social institution and the mass media - Media ethics. LECTURER: DR. ISIAKA HARUNA2 INTRODUCTION Communication which is the process of transferring thoughts, ideas, facts, feelings, etc from one person to another is very important in human existence. Without communication, life will be meaningless and human interaction would be impossible. Here, we shall examine the concept of communication with particular emphasis on its meaning, types and process. DEFINITIONS OF COMMUNICATION Simply put, communication is the transmission of a message from the source through a medium to a receiver who produces an effect or feedback. So defined, communication then is an ongoing reciprocal processes involving the sender and the receiver (Harold Lasswell, 1948). The reciprocal process of communication The transmitter or encoder designs a message and sends it through a selected medium to the receiver/decoder. The receiver decodes/interpret the message, and sends it back as feedback to the transmitter who in turn responds to him/her and the process continues hence the reciprocal process/nature of communication. 2. Communication is the process by which one person (or a group) shares and imparts information to another person(or group)so that both people (or group) clearly understand one another. (Udall, R & Udall, S 1979:5). Communication is not just the giving of information, it is the giving of understandable information and receiving and understanding the message. Communication is the transferring of a message to another party so that it can be understood and acted upon. (Eyre, E.C. 1983:7). Types of Communication Human communication falls into two broad categories – verbal and nonverbal communication. Verbal communication is that which is done through the use of words. It can be oral or written. Non-verbal communication on the other hand is the communication carried out without speech. It includes the following: (ii) Sign e.g. Road traffic signs; boy scout signs, etc3 (iii) Object e.g. such as artwork, uniform, crown, etc. (iv) Action e.g. drama, boxing, football, etc. (v) Genetic factor communication e.g. skin colour, shape of head, body proportion. There are also other forms of communication: 1. Intrapersonal communication: this is the transfer of information that takes place within an individual. Example of intrapersonal communication is soliloquy, monologue. 2. Interpersonal communication is the exchange of ideas, opinions and information between two people. It could be face-to-face or through the telephone. Here, the sender shares his ideas or information with the receiver unlike intrapersonal communication where the communicator keeps his ideas to himself. 3. Group communication: this involves three or more people. When three or more people come together with a specific goal in mind, a group is formed. . Their coming together may be accidental or by design but so long as there is exchange of ideas and information among the group, you have group communication. Group communication can take place where a group shares ideas with one another for the attainment of group goal. It could be in the family, school, churches, offices etc. 4. Mass communication is the process of transmitting information, ideas, attitudes, values, and beliefs through a communication device and modern gadgets to a relatively large, heterogeneous and anonymous audience simultaneously. it is often general and targeted at a large audience. The message is rapid and transient in nature as it is meant to be consumed immediately. Communication channels like radio, television, magazine, newspapers, and the internet are employed. Unlike other forms of communication where the response or feedback is direct and immediate, the feedback in mass communication is indirect and inferential etc. Process of Communication Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English defines a process as “a series of actions that someone takes in order to achieve a particular result”. Communication process involves the following:4 Transmitter This is also known as the source, the encoder, the communicator or the sender. The transmitter is the initiator of the communication encounter. The source or sender of the message, ideas or information may be an individual, a group or an organization. We can thus talk about intrapersonal, interpersonal, intra-organizational and inter-organizational communication. Design the Message After the sender decides to share his ideas, feelings and information with someone else, he will choose which symbols to use to put across his message across to the receiver. Either through writing, speaking, gesturing, etc is some of the means the communicator can chose to reach out to the intended receiver. Designing of the message is the stimulus for transmission. Select the Medium The communicator chooses appropriate channel to carefully and timely convey his information to the receiver. Soola, O (1998:14) explains the rationale for choice of medium. According to him, “your choice of a medium must be based on your understanding of the audience. Of particular relevance in this regard is whether the receiver is educated or not; whether or not he can read and write, as well as his level of understanding of the language of communication. Other factors to consider include the physical distance separating the source from the receiver, as well as the nature of the message…” Receiver: The receiver is the decoder of the message. The receiver needs to pay much attention in order to receive the message with clear understanding. There must be perceptive listening on the part of the receiver. Design the Response: At this stage, the receiver organizes and responds to the stimulus having got the message interpreted by his central nervous system.5 Select the Medium: Again, the receiver has to select a method of sending his reply back to the source. The decoder who receives the message must participate in the communication exchange.

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