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Old Sunday, April 02, 2006
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Default Journalism/comunication

This is the chapter #1 of Journalism. It is perhaps the most toughest of my works. I had to break different chapters of different books and compile them in way that they can be understood altogather. I am leaving few things out, as they are bit complicated. Will take time, perhaps a day or two but I'll post them InshaAllah. Meanwhile have fun with this.














The word ‘communication’ from the Latin word “Communis” meaning ‘Common.’ When we communicate we are trying to establish“Commonness” with someone. That is we are trying to share information, an idea or an attitude.

The essence of communication makes the receiver and the sender “tuned” together for particular message.


• Sending, giving or exchanging of information, ideas etc.

• Process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs or behaviors.

• Technique for expressing ideas effectively in a speech.

• Giving or exchanging of information, signals or messages by talk, gestures, writing etc.

• System of sending or receiving messages, by means like telephone, telegraph, radio etc.

• An intercourse by words, letters or messages and inter-change of ideas or opinions.

• “The imparting, conveying, or exchanging of ideas, knowledge, etc – whether by Speech, writing or sings” --- Oxford English Dictionary.

• Transfer of thoughts and messages.

• The mechanism through which human relation exists and develops.

COMMUNICATION: Today we might define communication simply by saying that it is the sharing of an orientation toward a set of informational signs.


COMMUNICATION is the transmitting information, ideas and attitude from one person to another.


Communication always requires at least three elements, which are:

1. The Source:

A source may be an individual (speaking, writing, drawing, gesturing) or a communication organization (like a newspaper, publishing house, television station/channel, or motion picture studio).

2. The Message:

Any thing real or imagined capable of eliciting one or more responses directly or indirectly from a human, sub-human or non human receiver in a time free context is called message.

A message may be inform of ink on a paper, sound waves in the air, impulses in an electric current, a wave of the hand, a flag in the air, or any other signal capable of being interpreted meaningfully.

3. The Destination

The destination may be an individual listening, watching, or reading, or a member of a group, such as a discussion group, a lecture audience, a cricket crowd, a mob, or a mass audience.


First the source encodes his message. That is he takes the information or feeling he wants to share and puts it into a form that can be transmitted – the pictures in our heads can be transmitted unless they are coded. When they are coded into spoken words, they can be transmitted easily and effectively, but they can’t travel very far unless a secondary source like radio carries them. If they are coded in written words, they can go far but more slowly than the spoken words. Once coded and sent, a message is quite free of its sender, and what it does is beyond the power of the sender to change. For in order to complete the act of communication the message must be decoded.

If the source does not have adequate or clear information, if the message is not encoded fully, accurately, effectively in transmittable signs, if messages are not transmitted fast and accurately enough to the desired receiver, and specially if the message is not decoded in a patter that corresponds to the encoding, and finally, if the destination is unable to handle the decoded message so as to produce the desired response – than obviously, the system is working at less than top efficiency.

A system like this, to have a maximum capacity for handling information, will depend on the separate capacities of each unit on the chain. For example;

• The capacity of a channel = How fast one can talk?

• The capacity of encoder = can your student understand some thing explain quickly enough?

If the coding is good –e.g. No unnecessary words – the capacity of the channel can be approached, but it can never be exceeded.

An important element during the communication process is redundancy. There are two types of redundancy in communication, which are as followed:

1. Language Redundancy, meaning the percentage of the message which is not open to free choice.

2. Communicator’s Redundancy, which is an important aspect of constructing a message. If we think audience or destination or receiver may have hard time understanding the message, we can deliberately introduce more redundancy. We can do this by repeating (just as radio operator on ship may send “SOS” or a Pilot may send “May Day, May Day” over and over again to make sure it is herd and decoded) or we can give “examples” and “analogies.” In other words, we always have to choose between transmitting more information in a given time, or transmitting less and repeating more in the hope of being better understood.

It is often difficult choice to adopt redundancy as it slows down rate of communication. Too slow a rate will bore an audience, whereas too fast a rate may confuse the audience.

The most important thing in the process of communication is the fact that RECEIVER and SENDER must be in tune. This is somewhat complicated when it means that human receiver must be able to understand a human sender.

The source can encode, and the destination can decode only in terms of the experience each has had. E.g. If you come across some one from a remote village who has never seen an airplane and you tell him what airplane is, he will only decode the sight of a plane in terms of what ever experience he has had. The air plane in his mind might appear as a bird.

If there has been no common experience, then communication is impossible. If the experiences of the source and destination have been strikingly unlike than it is going to be very difficult to get an intended meaning across from one to the other.

To avoid these difficulties, the source than tries to encode in such a way as to make it easy for the destination to tune in the message or relate the message to its parts of his experience which are much like to those of the source.

Messages are made up of SIGNS. A sign is a signal that stands for some thing in experience. The word “dog” is a sign that stands for our generalized experience with dogs. The word would be meaningless for someone who comes from a dog less place or for some one who has never seen or herd of a dog. But most of us are well acquainted with the word and the animal “Dog”. If someone called out “Dog”, we would recall the appearance of dogs, their sound, their feel, their smells and other experiences we might have had with dogs. But there is an important difference between a SIGN and an OBJECT. --- Sign always represents the object at reduced level of cues, by this mean that sings will not call forth all the responses that the object it self will call forth. A sign may not call forth in us the wariness or attention a strange dog might attract if it wandered into our presence. This is the price we pay for the portability in language. We have sign system that can use in place of the less portable originals e.g. a writer can write an article on dropping of atomic-bomb, while an artist can draw a picture to make the writers were vivid. But our sign system is merely a short hand. The coder has to be able to write the short hand and decoder should be able to read it.

It is obvious that each person in the communication process is both an encoder and decoder. He receives and transmits. He must be able to write readable shorthand.


Remember that signal comes in form of a sign. If we have learned the sign, we have learned certain responses with it. We can call these responses mediatory responses, because the mediate what happens to the message in your nervous system. These responses hold meanings of the communication signs for us. They are learned from experience but are also affected by the state of our organism at the moment. E.g. a picture of steak will not arouse exactly the same response in us when we are overfed as it would when we are hungry.

The mediatory response is connected to various sets of other responses. Considering the various affects, the mediatory response will than determine which set of response is suitable for a certain signal. Meaning; on receiving a particular SIGN will start certain a process in our nerves and muscles. For example; let’s take “Fire” as a SIGN, this will trigger certain activity in us considering the scenario we have come across the fire. Considering that “Fire” represents danger, it will start a process in our nerves and muscles (nervous system) which will make us call/yell for “HELP.”


It is very important to note that communication is a continuous process in which we are constantly engaged. We are constantly decoding signs from our environment, interpreting these signs and encoding something as a result. It is misleading to think of the communication process has a starting or ending point somewhere. It passes through various sources, but changed by the interpretation, habits, abilities and capabilities of each source. However, the input is always reflected in the output.


The final element of the communication process is “Channel.” In any sort of communication we rarely send out message through single channel. When we speak to each other, the sound waves from our voice are the primary channel. But there are others: the expression of our face, our gestures, relation of given message to past message, our attitude etc. Even the primary channel, in this case our voice, has various sub-channels. E.g. it gives words to decode, gives emphasis to certain words over others. The presentation, pattern of intonation and timing contribute to the total meaning to information we are conveying and thus they too are sub-channels to primary channel, which is our voice. The quality of our voice, e.g. deep, high, shrill, rasping, rich, thin, loud, soft etc, it self carries about us and what we are saying, thus they are also important sub-channels of primary channel.

In the case of print media, where the channels are most restricted, there still exist multiple channel situations. Meaning is not only conveyed by words in news but also by the size of headline, the position on the page and the page in the paper; the association with pictures, the use of boldface and other typographical devices.



The chief reason we study the process of communication is to learn its effects and how are they achieved. Our objective is to know what a given kind of communication does to people. We want to be able to predict what kind of effects a given message will have upon its receiver. Nevertheless it is possible that our predictions can go wrong, in such case our communication has been a failure. The major reason for the failure off our communication can be improper implementation of the “conditions of successful communication.”

Conditions of successful communication – by this we mean the conditions which must be fulfilled if the message is to arouse its intended responses (the message which arouses intended response is an effective communication). These conditions are:

1. The message must be designed and delivered as to gain the attention of the intended destination.

2. The message must employee signs which refer to experience common to source and destination, so as to “get the meaning across.”

3. The message must arouse personality needs in the destination and suggest some ways to meet those needs.

4. The message must suggest a way to meet those needs which the destination finds him self at the time when he is moved to make the desired responses.



Intra-personal communication takes place within an individual. It is the basis of all other forms of human communication. Without an effective intra-personal communication, an organism is unable to function in its environment. Ideally this communication system allows a person to make a decision based on information received through the senses ---For example: When we are watching a program on TV, our eyes and ears receive information and communicate it to our brain. If what we see and hear holds interest to us, our intra-personal communication will indicate our interest to our brain and we will attend and pay more attention to that program. If we don not like the program, the intra-personal communication system will send signals to brain which in return will messages to our muscles which will result in us changing the channel or turning off the TV.

NOTE: In inter personal communication; our “eyes and ears” become the SENDERS or TRANSMITTERS of message through a medium of communication, which in this case is our central nervous system. Our “brain” becomes the receiver, which in turn transmits addition responses or impulses in form of a “FEEDBACK” which results in some sort of physical activity e.g. changing the TV Channel.


Inter-personal communication is face-to-face communication. Let us suppose we are talking to a friend across the room, in such case ‘we’ are the “Sender”, our ‘speech’ is the “medium”, our words are the “message” to a friend who is “Receiver” and the reply by our friend with an approval is the “Feedback.” While we are speaking and our friend is reacting or replying, inter-personal communication is taking place.

To understand inter-personal communication, it is important to recognize that each of us possesses a field of experience. When we communicate inter-personally, our fields of experience overlap. The further a relationship between two people advances, the more the field of experience will overlap. This overlapping of fields of experience is called homophily. The greater the homophily, the greater are the chances of effective meaningful Inter-personal communication taking place.


Another form of communication is extra-personal communication. In this form of communication we share our impressions from our environment with other life forms, i.e. Animals and Plants.


We now need to add another element to our description of the communication process. There is always a return response to our message. This return process is called Feedback. It plays a very important part in communication as it tells us how our message in being interpreted by the receiver. The nodding of the head in agreement, the puzzled expression on the forehead, the looking away in lack of interest etc. --- all these responses by the receiver are form of a FEEDBACK and tells us how our message is being received.

It is not only the receiver who gives the feedback. In many cases the sender is also a receiver and also the one who is giving the feedback. This means we get feedback from our own messages. That is when we replay our message, that we are about to send, we hear our own voices and can correct mispronunciations if any. If we have written something we, we can re-read it and make corrections and changes if required. The kind of FEEDBACK information we get from our own message help us guide our information further and repair damages, if any.

Since feedback is a part of communication and takes place in all kinds of communications, it is subjected to be contaminated; by this we mean that feedback can be disrupted, disturbed or interfered by a NOISE.



The problem during any type of communication is NOISE. Noise is an activity that disrupts the process of communication or it is any thing that interferes with the message. Noise is usually external, in form of a sound from any object. We also experience internal noise in form of headache. The noise can temporarily distort the process of communication, distract us from the communication topic and even add new factors to our decision making task.

There are two known types of noise:


It interferes in the physical transmission of the message produces distraction between the Source and the Receiver. It interferes with the signal as it passes between human communicators.

The professional communicators try to overcome such effects by paying more attention or by the principle of redundancy.

Example of Channel Noise: When we are reading a newspaper and an ambulance with siren passing through distracts us, or when a fast moving car splashes mud on the news paper, the distraction that occurs than is Channel Noise.

NOTE: The Channel noise usually occurs during “intra-personal communication.”


This occurs when a message is misunderstood even though it is received exactly as it was transmitted. E.g. the communicator may use difficult words which audience are unable to understand or a name that is unknown to the reader or a word understood by the audience but in some other sense.

The semantic noise can be reduced if the communicator defines terms and adjust vocabulary to the interests and needs of the audience.

NOTE: The Semantic Noise usually occurs during “inter-personal communication.”


Another problem that can occur in communication is delayed feedback. This occurs when responses between two people are accounted for by the time delay. Delayed feedback usually occurs because of noise, misunderstanding of the message, which in return will require us to prepare a new message and re-convey it. And all this will take time.


coming soon .....
[COLOR="DarkRed"][B]17th amendment is mockery of our constitution !. May those who have implemented it burn in hell ![/B][/COLOR]

Last edited by Andrew Dufresne; Friday, February 05, 2010 at 08:14 AM. Reason: Kindly avoid using red color
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Old Monday, April 03, 2006
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Default Some new additions

It has been a trend for past couple of years that journalism papers are neither set on traditional pattern nor confined to just analysis restricted to conventional print and electronic media jargons, rather they are turning out to be added with some new analytical topics, like Cognitive Dissonance, Communication congruity, Embedded journalism, spinning stories, new trends in mass media sciences after the advent of internet and countless number of satellite channels reachable by common man,,so it is my fraternal advice to all of you to prepare the subject on the basis of ever-changing innovative trends( which is definitely a part of slowly but gradually altering CSS exam pattern)..Follwing topics could be regarded as some prominent cases in point :

Some Communication Theories:
1. Consistency and selective perception
2.Theory of cognitive dissonance
3.Theory of Cultivation
4.Osgood's congruity theory
5.Hypodermic and Hyperdermic theories of communication

I might not be fully exhaustive in mentioning all the topics, its was just an indicative overview,, so participation from you people is also awaited
with regards Naveed
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Old Friday, July 20, 2007
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all about Journalism

Please help me, Which book should i consult for journalism
And which for sociology
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Old Saturday, July 21, 2007
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For Journalism, you can go for "Exploring Journalism" by Mirza Mohammad Yousaf and "Mass Communications" by Wulber Scharmm
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AOA very useful notes thank u can any1 kindly give me notes on mass media.ive read it in 2 , 3 books but its too scattered..ill b very gratefulits urgent!!
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That is really great Ahmed Ali Shah. i really need it as im a fresh student of MassCom but at last some last heading is missing and indicating for Coming soon im waiting for that or IF u can tell me from where ....i meant from which site u got these material , it would be a great thanks for you....waiting for ur reply
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plz tell me what is process in many elements r there
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well the above notes are no doubt very helpful..but these are incomplete..and therefor misguiding...
three basic elements of mass comm are in mentioned above..but actually there are FIVE elements in Mass Communication.These are:


Feedback is one of the most important element of mass it is a two way process..and it is not mentioned above..

Below are some important notes of mass communication..and it covers the functions of mass media(as are required in CSS course):
The Role of the Mass Media in Community Development
By: Eyiah, Joe Kingsley, (2004-04-28)
More from this columnist
It is said that big minds discuss issues but small or swallow minds discuss/attack persons.

The significance of communication for human life cannot be overestimated. This is true because beyond the physical requirements of food and shelter man needs to communicate with his/her fellow human beings. This urge for communication is a primal one and in our contemporary civilization a necessity for survival. That is to say without communication no society can exist, much less develop and survive. For the existence as well as the organization of every society communication is a fundamental and vital process.

Mass Communication and the Mass Media:
Among the four identified forms of communication is mass communication, which deals with messages addressed from one to many persons mediated by elements in mass media such as radio, television, film, newspaper, magazine, book etc. Fortunately and not boastfully I can say that since the early 1970s when I became a trained teacher, I have been involved with all the elements of mass media except film. In the 1970s I was writing for radio and television (news commentaries, reflections, and news reports as well as poems and youth programs) in Ghana and the most popular newspaper in Ghana-the Daily Graphic. By 1980 I had become a regular contributor to the Network Africa program on the B.B.C. World Service. My love for the mass media sent me to the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST) in Kumasi, Ghana to do a degree program in Publishing Management (Book Industry) from 1989 to 1992. I specialized in editing and marketing and worked as an editor for the newsletter of the Department of Book Industry as well as an assistant editor for the students? magazine published by KNUST. Above all, I single-handedly initiated and published a church quarterly paper -the Southern Trumpet-for the S.D.A. Church in South Ghana for almost ten years before leaving Ghana in 1995 for further studies at the University of Toronto in Canada. Since 1998 that I joined the editorial board of the dynamic community newspaper -the Ghanaian News- published monthly in Toronto I have served in the capacities of assistant editor and contributing editor till now. I have therefore come a long way living through the bad and good days of the mass communicator associated with the print media, especially newspapers. The joy of disseminating good news, the anxiety of hitting scoops in news reporting, the embarrassment of the printer?s devil, which causes elementary errors in published articles and the wild attacks on opinions expressed in the mass media! My contribution to the discourse on the role of the mass media in community development is authentic since I understand the nitty-gritty of being a mass communicator.

Mass communication is the technological means of sending information, ideas and opinions from a mass communicator to a complex audience. It is also defined as comprising the institutions and techniques by which specialized groups such as broadcasters, film producers and publishers employ technological devices to disseminate symbolic content to large heterogeneous and widely disperse audience.

Mass communicators are impersonal. They are part of the institutions they work for and should not be blamed personally for what comes from the institutions. The credibility of the message is not for the individual communicator, but for the institution or the organization that sends it. Thus, mass communication deals with collective sender. For example, a newspaper is not produced by only one person. The newspaper is the end results of collective efforts of reporters, editors, type-setters, proofreaders, designers and printers. These must be well-trained persons.

It is, however, sad to admit that the mass media have been infiltrated by some unqualified persons as well as some unscrupulous individuals with their own political agendas other than to serve the communities they are supposed to educate, inform, entertain and mobilize for development. Hence, the establishment of media commissions in most democratic and civilized communities! Institutions and organizations engaged in mass communication anywhere must be weary of such persons.

The other important area of notice is that mass communication deals with the concept of mass audience. Here, there is no common motivation. Audience do not act together. They belong to different classes-different education and socio-economic status. The message communicated in the mass media is open to the public and everyone has access to it provided she/he has the mass communication technological device as well as understands the language in which the message is sent.

Mass communication has a specific method of feed-back which could be in the form of letters to the editor, rejoinders, reviews and articles. This method takes time to go through and it is often volunteered. Not everybody would have the capability to do it. Many people also feel lazy to write.

If this is how mass communication works then what are the specific functions of the mass media in society?
Functions of the Mass Media:

Though there are two main functions of mass communication, which are overt and latent functions of communication, six specific functions of the mass media could be identified here. These are:

1.Survellance of the environment. This is the collection and distribution of information within and outside a particular environment. The information flow is necessary for unity and coherence if we live in the society of collectivity;

2. Correlation of parts of the society. This includes the interpretation of the information, the prescription of conduct and, the comment on social value;

3. Transmission of social heritage. By communicating information through the mass media we are transmitting social and cultural values, which aim at sustaining the society;

4. Educating the masses. Education on the policies of governments and on the rights and responsibilities could be carried out through the mass media.

5. Entertainment function.
The mass media also entertain the public by providing emotional relaxation, intrinsic and cultural enjoyment (i.e. provision of momentary escape from problems) and killing boredom; and

6. Mobilization function. This function of the mass media is very important to developing communities everywhere. It seeks to bring the people together and helps to advance national development.

It could be seen from the foregoing functions that the mass media provide information and education, personal identity, entertainment and most importantly integration and social interaction by giving insight into the circumstances of others as well as by helping with the development of social empathy.
The advent of press freedom has given rise to unprecedented abuse of the mass media by unscrupulous mass communicators and authoritarian leaders in society. There is proliferation of community newspapers and FM radio stations in Ghana and the Ghanaian communities around the world. There is also access to internet and the SIL forum on the popular ghanaweb site which bring Ghanaians together everyday by the magic of the electronic media. While this development should be welcomed and appreciated in the light of healthy competition among ethnic media practitioners there is also the inherent danger of dividing and destroying the very communities these mass communicators seek to help develop!

The path of sycophancy, bootlicking, blackmailing of individuals and arrogance of political affiliation lies close to the good functions of the mass media discussed above and must be avoided if the role of the media in our community development is to be made meaningful.
The mass media must serve essential functions in the society by accepting and fulfilling certain obligations to the society. These obligations are mainly to be met by setting high professional standards of informativeness, truth, accuracy, objectivity and balance. In accepting and applying these obligations the elements of the mass media should be self-regulating within the framework of law and established institutions. They should therefore avoid whatever might lead to crime, violence or civil disorder or give offence to any group of people in the society because of their faith or ethnicity. The media as a whole should be pluralistic and reflect the diversity of their society by giving access to various points of views and to rights of reply.

I reiterate the fact that the mass media play an important role in community development. It is therefore incumbent upon our ethnic press (community newspapers and local FM radio stations) to keep our communities connected to the past by communicating the stories and traditions we hold dear. And at the same time connect our communities to the present and to the future by delivering images and news of our people around the world and forming the foundation and values for our children to continue. Instead of undermining each other, the many Ghanaian newspapers and FM radio stations home and abroad should give our communities a strong voice that is not always represented in the mainstream media in the developed countries. Let?s help keep our communities around the world united and strong. Together we stand, divided we fall.

Types of communication

The types of communication given above are three...but basically there are five types of communication:

These are:

1. Intra personal comm (that kind of comm which a person do with himself)
2. Inter personal comm (comm done between 2 persons or more than two)
3. Extra personal comm (comm done with nature)
4. Mass comm (comm done by mass media like TV, Radio, Newspaper etc)
5. Medio comm (focus more on target groups - a 'collection' of individuals with similar interests and preferences. Medio communication takes place where your customers live, work and relax)

nahin nigah main manzil to justaju hi sahi
nahin wisaal mayassar to arzu hi sahi

Last edited by Andrew Dufresne; Friday, February 05, 2010 at 08:17 AM. Reason: Merged
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Old Wednesday, July 15, 2009
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Default evaluation of the role of print journalism in Pakistan

I hav started prep of journalism kindly guide if any one has notes related to this topic,,,i'll very much thankful
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Old Saturday, August 01, 2009
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@Dr. Farrukh

you dont need any notes just consult the Mass Communication book by Imtiaz Shahid and Journalism for all by Mehdi Hassan. Its more than enough.

Always do what you are afraid to do
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