COMM001 Study Guide

Unit 5: Mass Communication

5a. Identify the characteristics of mass media and mass communication

  • Define mass communication and mass media.
  • Define the following characteristics of mass communication: correlation, entertainment, mobilization, sensationalization, surveillance, transmission, validation.
  • Why are mass media described as gatekeepers?

To review mass communication and mass media, see Mass Communication.


5b. Identify the effects of mass communication on human communication

  • Explain how each of the following mass media affected society and our expectations of government: the printing press, radio, television, internet, and social media.
  • Explain how mass communication has affected how we develop and maintain interpersonal relationships reflecting on the concepts of mass personal communication and the global village.

Over the decades, mass communication and mass media have affected how we communicate and how cultures have developed. To review media effects on human communication, see Mass Communication.


5c. Explain different mass communication theories

  • Define the following mass communication theories: cultivation theory, magic bullet theory, multi-step flow theory, two-step flow theory, and uses and gratification theory.

Throughout this course, we looked at several theories. Some explain the general nature of human communication, and others specifically explain how communication is used or affects outcomes in more specific areas of our lives. To review, see Mass Communication.


5d. List ethical concerns regarding mass communication

  • List ethical concerns regarding mass media and mass communication.
  • Explain the key concepts of media literacy based on its eight principles.
  • Apply the National Communication Association code of ethics to the practices of mass communication.

We often expect higher ethical behavior from individuals who produce mass-mediated messages because the mass media has such a profound impact on all members of society. To review, see Mass Communication, Eight Key Concepts for Media Literacy, Media Literacy, and The Ethics of Social Media.