With the opening of satellite communication, mass communication has become inseparable part of the human life. The history of mass communication is comparatively recent, but it has become indispensable in today’s society, which has become dependent on mass communication.
At personal level, mass communication is woven into our day-to-day existence. Individuals use mass media to satisfy their need for entertainment or enlightenment.
They become more aware of the country’s problems and issues as well as help people develop understanding of the social problems. They also contribute to increased understanding of culture, politics, economy and so on.
In developed nations, where literacy and industrialization is high, is likely to depend more on mass communication channels for people’s knowledge, entertainment and decision making.
As people of the country modernize and become more literate, individualistic and cosmopolitan, the use of mass communication channels becomes more and more important as there are many areas of common concern and interest to people about which people want to know.
Today’s society has become far more complex to function only through interpersonal or group communication. There are many important messages of common concern which have to reach effectively to masses at a time.
In a country like India, it is not possible to train a mass of Indian population in basic life skills simultaneously and uniformly through formal education. It is not possible with our meager existing resources and facilities. This requires resorting to effective system of mass communication.
In India a large majority of the population is illiterate and hence beyond the reach of the printed media. Moreover, more than 65 per cent of Indian population is living in villages, bound by traditions, deep rooted attitudes and superstition.
This is a challenge for any educator. It is only through persuasive influence of mass communication, the illiterate and backward population in India can be directed towards any social change required for development. Thus, mass communication has important role to play in enlightening the masses to raise the standards of their living and improve quality life.
Communication with rural people is difficult and challenging, as many of them live in inaccessible and isolated villages. In this situation mass communication is the only alternative for reaching them breaking all the barriers of physical distances and illiteracy.
Mass communication becomes very important while communicating ideas intended to change behaviour of people right from developing awareness to adoption of an innovation. When people are exposed to an increasing flow of information, they find themselves in a position which necessitates a change in their aspiration, attitude and effort.
Frequent exposure to mass media can create the urge for a higher standard of living. There is adequate research evidence throwing light upon the potentialities of individual medium of mass communication as well as a total effect of mass media exposure in changing cognitive and affective behaviour of rural people.
Radio and Television have invaded almost every corner of the country. People sit glued to watch television. Research has also proved the effectiveness of these media in educating people. Hence mass communication is one of the important inputs for the development of the nation.
Radio, television, newspaper, movies are used widely as means of mass communication for information and entertainment.
Today, mass communication brings people closer by developing common understanding of the event or issue. We are dependent on mass communication not only for information, entertainment and politics but also education, science, religion, charities, agriculture and transportation.
In one way or another, almost every major social activity in modern life depends on the use of mass communication media to greater or lesser extent.
Mass communication is important for socialization of people because changes in subtle areas such as the socialization of the individual in regard to knowledge, attitudes, and beliefs, can be brought about through mass communication by using media like television and cinema.
Thus, mass communication plays an important role in the transmission of attitudes, perceptions and beliefs. Mass media like television and radio are influential force when the same ideas, people, or behaviours, occur consistently from program to program and presented in a stereotype manner.
Mass communication has developed into industry and has provided jobs to millions of people enabling them to earn their living.