Chapter 1: The Media of Mass Communication
Online Glossary


advertisement: A message intended to persuade people to buy a product or service. Advertisers buy space or time in various media for these messages.

advertising: The activity involved in producing advertisements. The word "advertisement" is for a specific message.

alternate media:Emerging, narrowly focused advertising vehicles. These include direct mail and place-based television.

amplification: Spreading message.

basic model: Shows sender, encoding, transmission, decoding, receiver.

book: One-time, bound publication of enduring value on single topic.

channel noise: Interference during transmission.

chemical media: Movies are a chemical medium because their technological basis is photographic chemistry. Experts expect a switch to digital technology in the years ahead.

circulation: The number of buyers or readers of a print product. The word is also used loosely to describe the audience size of electronic media. A correlation exists between circulation and advertising revenue: the greater the circulation, the greater the revenue. Circulation is also a source of revenue for media products that people buy. For books and movies, circulation is the major revenue source. It is a lesser source for magazines, newspapers, radio and television.

communication: Exchange of ideas and information.

concentric circle model: Sender at centre; recipient, effects at outer edge.

conglomeration: Combining of companies into larger companies.

cool media: Theorist Marshall McLuhan's term for mass media that can be used with minimal audience participation. Television is an example.

demassification: When media focus on narrower audience segments. The traditional idea of a "mass" audience is segmented.

decoding: Translating a symbolic message.

effect: Result of mass communication.

electronic media: Records, radio, television and the World Wide Web, whose messages are stored electronically for transmission and retrieval.

elitism: Media which emphasize their responsibility to society. At the opposite extreme is populism, which emphasizes audience size and profit.

encoding: Putting something into symbols.

environmental noise: Interference at reception site.

feedback: Recipient response to sender.

filters: Receiver factors that impede communication.

gatekeepers:Media people who influence messages en route.

gatekeeper-regulator hybrids: Media trade, professional groups.

globalization: International media ownership.

group communication: More than two people, in person.

hot media: Theorist Marshall McLuhan saw print media as hot because they require intimate audience involvement.

informational filter Receiver's knowledge limits impede deciphering of symbols.

infotainment: Melding of media role as purveyor of information and entertainment.

internalization: Making sense of a decoded message.

interpersonal communication:Usually two people face to face.

intrapersonal communication: Talking to oneself.

legals: Advertising that government requires be placed in the media. Legals include government agendas, minutes and budgets and look like classified advertisements.

magazine: Ongoing bound publication of continuing value with diverse topics.

mass audiences: Recipients of mass messages.

mass communication: Many recipients; not face to face; a process.

mass communicators: Message crafters.

mass media: Vehicles that carry messages.

mass messages: What is communicated.

melding: Conversion of all media to a common digital technology.

narrative model: Describes process in words, not schematic.

news: Nonfiction reports on what people want or need to know.

newspapers: Unbound publication, generally weekly or daily, with diverse, timely content.

noise:Impedes communication before message reaches receiver.

physical filter: Receiver's alertness impedes deciphering.

populism: Applauds media that attract large following. Antithesis of elitism, which puts quality and responsibility ahead of mass popularity.

pressure groups: Try to influence media messages, policies; includes citizen groups, government agencies.

print media: Books, magazines, newspapers.

psychological filter:Receiver's state of mind impedes deciphering.

public relations: This is an activity that produces messages usually transmitted via the mass media to win support. Includes news releases, corporate communication programs.

regulators:Non-media people who influence messages.

semantic noise: Sloppy message-crafting.

stimulation: Stirs someone to communicate.

transmission: Sending a message.


Thomas Bohn: Devised concentric circle model, with Ray Hiebert, Donald Ungurait.

Ray Hiebert: Devised concentric circle model, with Donald Ungurait, Thomas Bohn.

Harold Lasswell: Devised narrative model.

Marshall McLuhan: Media theorist who developed the catchy phrase: "The medium is the message." Also dealt with the global village and the tyranny of information tools.

Claude Shannon: Devised basic communication model, with Warren Weaver.

Donald Ungurait: Devised concentric circle model, with Ray Hiebert, Thomas Bohn.

Warren Weaver: Devised basic communication model, with Claude Shannon.


Bertelsmann: German media giant with strong U.S. book and recording interests.

Hachette Filipacchi: French-Italian media giant with strong U.S. magazine interests.

News Corp: Australian company owned by Rupert Murdoch. Properties include television, movies, HarperCollins and newspapers.

Time Warner: U.S. media giant whose interests include magazines, movies, recordings, cable television and books.

Viacom: Media conglomerate in movies, books and television.

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