Mass communication is mostly misunderstood as a synonym of communication media such as radio, television or films. Modern technology is essential to the process of mass communication but its presence does not always signify mass communication.
For example, the nationwide telecast of Independence Day celebrations is mass communication whereas closed circuit telecast in a classroom or assembly hall on a topic such as eco-friendly environment is not.
Mass communication is directed towards a relatively large, heterogeneous and anonymous audience. It is public, rapid and transient. The concept of mass communication in India has undergone transformation after independence.
It has become development supportive, flexible and need-based especially in the areas like health, nutrition, family welfare, agriculture, dairy development, literacy etc.
The development support concept of mass communication is dynamic, purposive, practical and promotional in nature.
In many societies, mass communication has emerged as a result of political needs. People in power encourage the spread of mass media so that they can have a channel at their disposal for publicizing their views, policies and agenda for action.
Apart from fulfilling the general functions of communication, they play a very important role in advertising of the various consumer products and thereby bringing the producer and the consumer closer to each other.