It should be understood that communication is the bedrock of modern society and in fact, a most critical component of modernity and civilization. It refers to the process of transferring or transmitting a message to a large unidentified scattered group of people at the same time through a medium, which includes newspapers, television, and the Internet. With the advent of nationwide radio networks, newspapers, and magazines which were circulated among the masses, the term mass communication was coined in the 1920s to accommodate their use in communication, with its main objective of distributing information to a wide range of people. Mass Communication can also be an avenue of escape from the daily humdrum of our lives.
In academics, the term mass communications is mainly used to describe the study of the ways people and groups relay messages to a large audience. Because of the worldwide interest in the academic study of mass communications a number of leading educational institutions now offer majors in the subject. Today mass communications graduates can find jobs in the news media, advertising or public relations agencies, publishing houses and research institutes. In Nigeria today, people who major in mass communications see communication as an integral part of human interaction which manifests itself in symbols and verbal forms. Understanding mass communication helps us to understand ourselves, keep in touch with people, understand them and make us able to predict their responses to situations.
Through the process of communication, relationships are established, extended and maintained. Communication provides a means by which those in business, politics and other professions exchange information, develop plans, proposals and manage people and materials. Mass Communication however involves all transfer of message to a large unidentified, scattered people through the use of mass media at the same time. For the simple fact that information is power, it becomes difficult to ignore the role of information in our societies today. When information is allowed to flow freely, the society becomes vibrant and dynamic, thereby allowing civilization to take place.
Civilization is achieved when there is a high degree of information activities in terms of education, politics, technology, culture, etc in a society. Since the ultimate desire of every society is to be great, this lofty ambition of greatness can only be achieved when the people recognize the power of information. Concepts such as information and library science emerged as we know them today due to an effort of various societies to organize or manage the growing level of information. These concepts help to control information and keep it in an organized manner for easy retrieval and reviews.
However, Mass Communication has actually helped in the areas of career choices and knowledge of one’s environment. Since communication helps us to understand ourselves, keep in touch with other people, understand them and be able to predict their responses to situations, it becomes clear to us that society ignore its power to their own peril.