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Mass Communication: Types and Aspects

Dynamics of Orality, Literacy, and Electronic Society

Orality is very common in Canada when it comes to communication as it is used as the primary method of communication between parties where the spoken words are decoded by the audience. Literate communication is also another form of common communication taking place using published material. On the other hand electronic communication is also significantly gaining importance as more and more people in the society have access to computers and have learnt to use the internet.

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Types of Bias

The media bias is the bias attitude taken by the professionals in the field like journalists and media managers when it comes to reporting and the coverage of events and news. An example of media bias is the stereotyped reporting used when reporting on the Middle East. The time bias in terms of communication is the bias attitude taken when reporting on a subject matter. Covering a report in the news extensively while not giving another equally important news item less air time is a form of time bias. Space bias occurs when agenda setting initiatives are taken by monopolizing media giants to control the message being communicated. The monopoly of the US television media can be seen as a form of space bias.

Characteristics of Mass Communication, Mass media and the Differential Dynamics

Mass communication has centralized production and dissemination of the message with a decentralized access provided to the masses. On the other hand, mass communication is also an exchange of intelligence on a large scale between the members that exist in a society.

The two forms of mass media have a distinct set of activities, involve specific technical specifications, are associated with institutions, have existing laws and regulations serving as guidelines, dictated by people holding roles in the society and tend to convey information, entertainment and message amongst and to the people in the society.

The differential dynamics between the above depict that mass communication is actually woven in the society through legal and regulatory framework as well as ownership and association with professions. On the other hand the mass media and new media are more of an extension of the society giving a reflection of human activity.

Forms of Mass Media, Decentralized Media, Interactive Media

The different types of mass media include the print media, the electronic media and the new age media. The forms of decentralized new media pertain to blogs, websites and talk radio. The interactive media forms include chat rooms, social networking sites and digital forums.

Communication in the Renaissance Enlightenment and the Industrial Revolution

Communication played the role of facilitating a social movement pertaining to the ending of feudalism and the commencement of the age of reason where the right of the rulers was replaced by the choices and the needs of the governed. The change was initiated as a result of the Gutenberg printing method in 1440. Similarly contemporary media was one of the highlights in the Industrial Revolution which received immense support from the development.

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Communication and Democracy

The principle of freedom of press is a well known ideology which is adopted by the developed nations throughout the world, and it is the main principle which binds together democracy and communication.

Structuralism and Post-structuralism

Structuralism proposes that an entity is made up of different parts or components which make it complete. Structuralism is the basis on which semiotics analysis is conducted and states that the independent signifier is superior to the signified in the context.. Post-structuralism on the other hand is a response to the French philosopher who proposed structuralism and states that label is not of importance while the signifier and the signified are essentially not united but cannot be separated as well.

Meaning-generating Systems

Meaning-generating systems are systems which analyze to comprehend the contents to arrive at the underlying message or idea. Humans and societies are complex systems which can also be termed as meaning-generating systems. The meaning-generating systems are sought by the meaning seeking entities and are the basis of interaction between the media, the audiences and the role played by culture. The theories in the chapter revealed the different elements of their interaction. The effects research depicted that media has a direct impact the behavior of the audience. The uses and gratification research states what the audience depicts with the content of the media while the cultural studies depict how the audience selects part of the media to use in their lives.

Audience Transforming

Audiences are transforming in terms of the role that they play in communication and media. Traditionally the audiences were the receivers of the message from the media, however with the changes taking place in the telecommunications technology, the audience have not been transformed to be more active content generators for media as well as the society. Similarly the audiences are also disappearing due the large scale of content being thrown at them through the communication media. The constant communication at all times is making them uninterested and annoyed especially with advertisements, resulting in the loss of audience. The changes in the communication technology have also greatly contributed to the loss of audience.

Communications Policy in Canada

Communications policy is required in Canada to regulate content, and provide structure and guidelines for different media of communications making way for a structured activity. The role of the communications policy is that it lays down the rules and policies which mediate communication and seeks to serve the media owners, the content creators as well as the society at large.

Section 3 of the Broadcasting Act

The main thrust of the Section 3 of the Broadcasting Act is to display the Canadian talent, maximize the use of creativity while using the independent production sector available in Canada to contribute actively to the change of expression.

Support Policies for Book Publishing, Magazine Publishing, Cinema, and Music recording

The support policies for Cinema in Canada include government investment in the production of such features and provision of incentives to the media for televising Canadian production. For book publishing the Canadian government has structured the publishing sector by providing it with industrial and cultural support while proving publishing grants to encourage publishing. In the magazine publishing sector, the government has been conducting ownership control through the Income Tax Act while provisions are made to not include the split run editions.

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Media Ownership

Mass media in the region is under either private or public ownership that all operate in a mixed economy with no presence of free market economics. Media ownership in Canada primarily takes the form of oligopoly or monopoly in the market as major production houses and media companies head multiple segments of media in the market. This is mostly due to presence of expansive US media pertaining to films, television, Cinema and even the publishing and magazine sector. The newspaper publishing sector is the only sector where the Canadian ownership dominates over the US ownerships of media.

Horizontal and Vertical Integration

Horizontal integration involves selling similar products in different types of markets. In terms of the communications sector in Canada, the media giants tend to offer the same product and services to the consumers through different channels of dissemination. Vertical integration on the other hand involves creating a hierarchy or product and services whereby different products and which are market specific are provided to the customer. Vertical integration also exists in the Canadian communications sector whereby they are providing services for television, cinema as well as publishing materials all under the name of one company.

Journalists report facts independent of owners and independent of the marketing of news organizations to the public. Discuss.

While essentially the job of the reporter is to report the truth and the facts as they exits, in reality it is not how journalism actually goes down. While freedom of press does exist, the journalists are not allowed to report what they want. Journalism in the real work is managed by the companies and the media giants that employ journalists for their news channels. They manage what is to be reported, how it is to be reported, what elements are to be kept hidden from the public and the how the news is to be reported to their audience. As a result journalism takes the form of storytelling where almost everything is orchestrated and predetermined.

Shortcomings Gatekeeping Model

The Gatekeeping model in communications enables the media generators and disseminators to filter out information that is not suitable for public viewing or their opinion should not be revealed to the public. The shortcomings of this model pertain to the fact that it omits half parts of the truth associated with the content and is hypocritical to the concept of free journalism. Moreover it also can empower the gate keepers to abuse the power they have on the media.

Technological determinism is a limited framework for understanding social change. Yet Chapter 10 reviews an abundant number of cases in which societies are being changed by technological innovation. Discuss.

Technological change is in fact a limited framework for understanding social change as the society is highly volatile and can use technology by controlling it for its own purposes. While the presence of technology does pave way for social change, the social change actually comes about due to the application that society puts the technology to further achieve their objectives and goals. This can be represented through the case of the internet which was launched as a communication tool, and with the increased use and development of the communication technology based on the internet and the increased acceptance and knowledge of the technology as depicted by the society, internet has become an alternate media for communication instead of simply a communication tool

The cultural sphere is witnessing the expansion and intensification of a trend toward increased trade and increased dominance of exports by certain producing countries. While this increased trade causes some resentment from time to time, it has the potential to bring greater social harmony in the long run. Discuss.

The advancement of technology and the integration of cultures through media in the recent years have resulted in globalization taking place which has reduced the political boundaries between countries and created a trend towards increased trade. However due to the same reason trade dominance has also occurred whereby certain producing countries like the United States have managed to capture and capitalize on the Canadian market, taking the market share away from the Canadian media industry, While in the shirt run it may seem as a cause for resentment, in the long run competitive efficiencies will form whereby each country and culture would stele into a niche position in the globalized market which best benefits them and provides them with a comparative advantage., This would bring greater social harmony as the political and cultural boundaries would be blurred in favor of a cohesive society which can coexist.

Relationship between Economic, Political, and Social Dependence

Economic, political and social dependence are all part of the external environments that effect the communication sector in a globalized context. The economic dependence of the sector is based on the contribution it makes to the economy of the company and the funding it receives from the economic growth generated to further expand and establish itself in the market. The political dependence is associated with the monopolistic and the oligopolistic nature of the companies operating in the industry and how communication can be changed and altered for political agenda and interests as well. The social dependence on the other hand is associated with the dependence of the media on the consumers, and how they change their programming styles and content to satisfy the needs of the society.

Implications of the development of the internet and the considerable migration of people away from television programs to internet activities

Internet is a fast developing digital technology for communications that has gained the attention of the masses. The ease if availability of the technology and the advantages it provides in terms of access to media and communication has made people migrate to the internet instead of using books, newspapers, magazines or even television. Media based companies are seeking to provide their customers with equally good services on the internet through e-newspapers, online magazines, streaming television channels on the internet as well as continuous news feeds. The interactive nature of the internet and the ease of use and access it provides to the audience along with the convenience have made it the new channel of digital products and services for the media.

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Why would it be said that Maher Arar was caught up in a rigid communication system?

The case of Maher Arar was an unfortunate incident where his international human rights were violated on a baseless suspicious n of him being associated with the Al-Qaeda. As a result of his arrest Arar was interrogated and tortured in the US and then deported to Syria where he was extensively tortured and kept for about a year before being sent to Canada which was his home country. In the following years it has been revealed that the main cause for the unfortunate events that followed Arar’s arrest were based on improper communication strategy employed by the US government. The US and Canadian governments are allies in mutually beneficial terms, however despite their friendly collaboration, in the case of Arar, the US handling of the communication with the Canadian government was very much mishandled that eventually led him to be deported to Syria instead of being cleared of charged and being sent to Canada. The bureaucratic set up of the government in both the countries prevented efficient communications on the case and therefore it is justified to say that Arar was caught up in a rigid communication system.


Lorimer, R., Gasher, M., Skinner, D., Mass Communication in Canada, Ed. 6th, Oxford University Press, 2007

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