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Student Question

Is mass communication new or just adapting? 

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Mass Communication (typically known in college settings as "MassComm") is a sub-field of Social Sciences that aims to distribute and spread information through the following media:

  • radio
  • television
  • the Internet
  • magazines
  • newspaper
  • other print (flyers, editorials, manifestos, etc)
  • billboards

MassComm does not refer to a specific time history, or phenomenology. It is merely the act of spreading information to a large amount of people via one or more formats. This being said, the time-line of the story of MassComm can go back as early as 3300 B.C. with the hieroglyphics, more specifically 60 B.C. and the Acta Diurna (Day's Events) which is the Egyptian historical precursor to the modern newspaper.

The year 1041 A.D. is significant in that a primitive, or prototype printing press consisting in movable characters was developed in China. It is in 1468 that Caxton publishes what is known as the first advertisement ever in a book. The first newspapers began in Europe in the Early 1600s. In 1609 Europe witnessed its first newspapers and twenty-nine years later in 1638 the Puritans began the Cambridge Press.

Therefore, as you can see MassComm is a practice that has begun as early as writing and reading and has served the same purpose historically.

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