The following points highlight the three important agents of mass communication. The agents are: 1. Public Meetings 2. Newspapers and Magazines 3. Radio, Motion Picture and TV.
Mass Communication: Agent # 1.
Public meetings are arranged in various parts of the country at different times to communicate various important messages of any social, economic or political party. These messages are related to socio-economic, cultural educational and political problems of a particular area or country.
In public meetings people usually gather on a mass scale and particularly at the time of election such meetings are arranged extensively to send the message of the specific political party.
Because of the direct and face of face contact the impact of public meeting as an agent of communication is greater on the general mass. Emotional and personal appeal is more possible through public meetings than through other agents of mass communication.
Pamphlet, cartoons and songs prepared to touch the emotional and personal motive of the audience are distributed in the meeting for effective reception of the messages communicated.
Microphones are used so that not the persons present in the meeting hear what is communicated the outsiders also hear. Sometimes vans with microphones move around the roads and lanes propagating the message with the note to influence the public opinion.
Slogans as an agent of mass communication are used very effectively to touch the emotions and sentiments of the public. Slogans may be used to make the people accept particular political party or a particular candidate for vote.
Similarly, slogans are used to make people aware and conscious of adverse effects of wine, dowry and child marriage. During accident prevention weed, anti leprosy week, AIDS consciousness week, adult education week, interested parties try to build public consciousness towards these problems through slogans and placards which have a band wagon effect.
Mass Communication: Agent # 2.
Newspapers and Magazines:
Specialists and journalists with high and specialised training in journalism and mass communication are appointed in the newspaper industries to keep a regular flow of messages received from public and informal meetings, conferences workshop etc. arranged in different parts of the country. The messages of the public meetings are, thus, communicated throughout the world through the newspapers.
Sometimes newspapers bring out special issues on the achievements of a particular government when elections are nearer. Similarly, supplimentaries are printed on a particular issue, like gender bias, family planning, status of women, economic policies, attitude towards minorities and backward classes to draw the attention of the public towards such issues. Special care is taken about who writes these articles.
Usually people with prestige, reputation and recognition in the society contribute the articles so that the mass would believe what they say because of prestige suggestion. Sometimes for the purpose of propaganda the messages are printed in small pamphlets or leaflets and distributed free of cost.
We find that religious books or books carrying the message on certain human values advanced by a community are distributed in a very nominal price. Newspapers communicate the views of Govt, through various leaders holding Govt, offices in high places. Newspapers play a vital role in determining public opinion and in communicating messages to far wide places.
Mass Communication: Agent # 3.
Radio, Motion Picture and TV:
To build up certain new ideas or to change existing ideas and public opinions electronic mass medias like radio, TV and motion pictures play permanent and determining roles in the existing social set up, besides providing entertainment and education. Messages are received and then transmitted throughout the nation or country through these mass communication networks.
In a very short time latest informations are transmitted to large number of audiences or viewers. They have tremendous impact on the public and people believe the informations flowing from these sources as they not only hear, but view or witness the occurrences and incidents.
Both Radio and TV function under the Govt, control. Many documentaries are also produced by the Government. So people tend to believe the informations communicated through these agents and consider them reliable and valid.
In the modern civilisation, electronic media has a very powerful, intense and dominating impact on the audience and viewers. Before or during election in various countries, many systematic studies and opinion polls are conducted by electronic medias and transmitted for the awareness of the public. While radio is merely audio, TV being an audiovisual aid has relatively greater impact on the viewers.
Motion pictures also transmit ideas, values, attitudes and opinions of people to other people as a agent of mass communication.
Various commodities and consumer goods and dress designs are advertised in the small screen to build favourable attitude of the viewers towards these goods. Fashion shows are arranged and telecast taking beautiful and handsome participants (female and male respectively) with eye catching dresses.
But newspapers have bigger coverage than Radio and TV as they are less costly and can be available anywhere. A poor person or a person in the rural area can afford to read a newspaper more often than view a TV or hear a radio.
The role of radio as an agent of mass communication has been emphasized by Allport and Cantril. They have, however, cautioned to take the following precautions while using radio as an agent of mass communication.
(1) Females should make the majority of the broadcasts as their voices are quite soothing and pleasant and liked by the audience.
(2) The speaker should be trained to emphasize on the very purpose of the talk and it should be precise, pointed and reality oriented.
(3) Pronunciation of the speaker or reader should be clear.
(4) Repetition of idea and facts should be avoided.
(5) Short sentences should be used with proper punctuation, speedy delivery should be avoided.
(6) Ordinarily a programme should be limited to 15 minutes.