The term mass communication was coined in the 1920s and it is a branch of social science that comes under communication studies. Mass communication is the process of conveying information through mass media to large segments of the population at the same time. It is a tool to spread the message to the vast population or to build opinion or views on a certain topic. Mass communication is different from interpersonal communication or organizational communication, as it focuses to communicate with the public rather than an individual or a group of person. It includes both electronic and print media for transmitting the information. Electronic media includes television, radio, internet etc. whereas print media comprises of newspapers, journals, magazines, newsletters, books, etc.
Mass communication is a fast-growing industry with lots of interesting career options. A career in Mass Communication and Media offers various job opportunities for an individual trained in this field. Students have a fair chance to build a promising career for themselves in the fields like print media, electronic media, advertising field, publishing, public relations, research institutes etc. It covers a wide area which includes journalism, public relations, advertising and social media. People can also settle themselves as a professor or faculty of mass communication or related fields and support in imparting this professional education to enrich the media world with more skilled professionals.
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Journalism: Journalism is the activity engaged in the preparation of written, visual or audio material intended for spreading through public media. Print journalism is one of the oldest forms of journalism. Newspapers and magazines have always been a major source of news and information throughout the world and millions of readers go through them daily. Journalism career includes work for television and radio stations and print and online publications. Various career designations that could be achieved in the journalism field are reporter, columnist, editors, copywriter, sub-editor, photographer etc. These designations can be achieved at print and online media outlets, such as newspapers, magazines, news websites and blogs. Now journalism doesn’t mean collecting news and presenting it to the audience in between these different roles and activities are there to work on. Journalism activities have widened itself to various other activities also like citizen journalism involves the open activities of citizens to take the initiative in news spreading activities, face to face interaction shows related to sports, crime & corruption, interview sessions with famous personalities are also the work of the news anchors.
Public Relations: The PRO or Public Relation Officer plays a vital role in every organization. Mass communication professionals can also develop their career in this field. Public relation is maintaining the relationship with an individual or an organization and with the public for spreading information by public relations professionals. Some professionals focus on maintaining goodwill and mutual understanding between an organization and its publics, while others specialize in crisis communications and managing public images during difficult times.
Advertising: Advertising is a form of Communication used to spread information and attract an audience to take action on products, services and ideas. Advertising is a commercial form of imparting information. In an advertising career, professionals on the creative side focus on the development and production of advertising campaigns for print, online and broadcast distribution. Professionals of the business side focus on career opportunities exist within agencies and media outlets. Advertising professionals manage accounts, working with both agency clients and the creative professionals developing campaigns and they also create media buying plans.
Social Media: Social media is a mode of communication which is very popular nowadays and become an increasingly important tool for engaging with the public. Some of the social media sites and applications are Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. They are now essential components of the strategies of journalism, public relations and advertising enterprises. Social media careers attract technology-savvy individuals who are comfortable interacting with audiences directly. This development has opened up new career opportunities for mass communications professionals who have social media acuteness in addition to their other skills.
Film Making field: Film making or film production involves a number of tasks including story writing, casting, shooting, editing, screening or promotions that may result in a film release. AD film making, corporate films, corporate AD film making, documentary films, film production services, AD films production services, 3D presentation films, animation editing also offer graphic designing services, digital printing services, logo design etc.
Publishing: It includes the activities related to the development, editing, graphic design, printing, marketing and distribution of literature, music or information in the form of newspapers, magazines, books, films, documentaries etc.
Educational Requirements in Mass Communication:
After 10+2 various courses in Mass Communication are available at the diploma and graduate level. For the higher degrees, postgraduate and PhD levels are also available. Earlier good communication skills and a degree in literature were enough for journalism and other areas of mass communication. But in today’s era for a bright career in communication degrees or diplomas from the reputed colleges is desirable. A graduate degree in Mass Communication is the base for starting a career in this field but higher studies at postgraduate and doctorate level will lead an individual to a higher position in an organization. Many diplomae and certificate courses are also available in this field. Along with educational qualification personality traits are also very important like an individual should possess presentable and confident personality, an inquisitive mind, good writing and communication skills, Intelligence, awareness, and interest in current affairs are also required.
Mass Communication Courses & Universities:
(a) There are different courses available in many colleges and institutes for Mass Communication and in Journalism. Some of the courses are listed below:
-P.G. Programme in Mass Communication
-Courses in Film direction, film production, motion-picture photography
-Diploma in Public Relation & Corporate Communication
-Diploma in Advertising & Marketing Communication
-Master Program in TV Production, Direction & Broadcast Journalism
-Bachelor of Arts in Media & Communication
-International Political Communication
-Medical Journalism Graduate Diploma
-Digital Media Communications BA Honours
-Bachelor of Arts in Journalism
(b) Some of the Renowned Universities and institutes which offer study in Mass Communication are:
-California State University, USA
-University of Westminster, UK
-Xavier Institute of Communication, India
-John Cabot University, Italy
-International University in Geneva, Switzerland
-Kansai University, Japan
-Florida International University, School of Journalism and Mass Communication, USA
-Curtin University, Australia
-Budapest College of Communication and Business, Budapest, Hungary
-University of Vienna, Austria
-RWTH Aachen University, Germany
-University of Leicester, UK
-The Indian Institute of Mass Communication (IIMC), India
-Edith Cowan University, Australia
Job prospects after completing a Journalism / Mass Communication Degree:
Mass Communication is a fast-growing field with ample job opportunities in public relations, newspaper, radio, television, publishing houses, advertising agencies, government organizations and many other sectors. There are various job profiles available for Mass Communication professionals such as Journalist, Reporters, Fashion Photographer, News Broadcaster, Film Director, Radio Jockey, Editor, Sub-Editor, Public Relations Officer, Critic, Columnist, Freelancer, Advertising Sales Agent, Web Editor, Media Consultant, etc.
Famous Personalities of Mass Communication and Media field:
-Spike Lee: world-renowned actor, writer, producer, and director.
-Ted Koppel: has been involved in communications through his work on National Public Radio, BBC World News American, and NBC’s Rock Center.
-Joseph Pulitzer: wrote for newspapers and later purchased and ran the New York World, by his name the prize is given for the best journalism contributions
-Kidd Kraddick: was an American radio host and TV personality
-Helen Gurley Brown: was the editor-in-chief of cosmopolitan magazine
-Prabhu Chawla: the former editor of language publications in India Today, currently the editor-in-cheif of the New Indian Express newspaper
-Ameen Sayani: famous for his golden voice and has compered programs on radio and television
-Rasipuram Krishnaswamy Laxman (R. K. Laxman): the legendary cartoonist
-Alan Charles Rusbridger: is the editor of the British newspaper the Guardian.
-André Pratte: is a journalist and economist and is the current Editor-in-Chief of the Montreal large-circulation newspaper La Presse.
-Barkha Dutt: an eminent Media personality and popular Indian TV journalist and columnist, gained popularity for her reportage of Kargil War.
-Peter O’Brian: Canadian film producer, graduated with a double major in mass communications and film. His first film was Love at First Sight with Dan Aykroyd now communicating as chairman of the board of Ontario’s public television network, TVOntario.
-Benjamin Franklin: inspite of inventor and founding father was also a journalist, influenced the populace leading up to the American Revolution.
-Cokie Roberts: Her broadcast career encompasses ABC and NPR.
-Joe Torry: A Comedian who earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communication then starred in movies like House Party and Strictly Business, among others
Scholarship for courses related to Mass Communication: For a passionate student financial issues are not the problem because there are many scholarships available for the Mass Communication students. The scholarships are provided by different universities and colleges at different levels.
Ursula Glunk Scholarship for Master Students at Maastricht University in Netherlands, 2014
SOAS Doctoral Scholarships for International Students at University of London in UK, 2014
Mass Communication has become one of the popular career choices among students due to the fast growth in this sector the requirement of professionals has been increasing significantly. Therefore opted for communication studies give speed to professional career and make the future secure and bright.