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The Evolution of Mass Communication

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Mass communication is a term used to describe the dissemination of information and messages to a large audience through various channels of communication. The evolution of mass communication can be traced back to the invention of the printing press by Johannes Gutenberg in 1440, which allowed for the mass production of books and other printed materials. Since then, the field of mass communication has grown and evolved in many ways, with the development of new technologies and changes in society. The following are some significant milestones in the evolution of mass communication as put by (Briggs & Burke, 2009):

  1. Newspapers: The first newspaper, the Relation, was published in Germany in 1605. However, it was not until the 18th century that newspapers became widely available, and they quickly became an essential source of information for the public.
  2. Telegraph: The invention of the telegraph in the mid-19th century allowed for faster and more efficient communication over long distances. This technology played a significant role in news reporting, as reporters could now transmit their stories to newspapers in different parts of the world.
  3. Radio: The first radio broadcast was made in 1906, and by the 1920s, radio had become a popular form of entertainment and news dissemination. Radio allowed for the delivery of news and information to a mass audience, which had previously been limited to those who could afford to buy newspapers.
  4. Television: The first television broadcast was made in 1928, but it was not until the 1950s that television became widespread. Television allowed for the delivery of both news and entertainment to a mass audience, and it quickly became the dominant medium for advertising.
  5. Internet: The development of the Internet in the 1990s revolutionized mass communication by allowing for instantaneous communication and the ability to access vast amounts of information from anywhere in the world. This technology led to the development of social media, which has become a significant source of news and information for many people.


Briggs, A., & Burke, P. (2009). A social history of the media: From Gutenberg to the Internet. John Wiley & Sons.

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