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Define communication. Elaborate different elements of communication?

Posted by Fakhar Naveed Categories: Mass Communication
The word communication has originated from a Latin word “Communes” which means something common. Therefore, when we communicate, we are indeed trying to establish commonness of thoughts or feelings with other individuals. In other words, communication is a process of sharing ideas, words and attitudes, with someone. It is a basic human need. As human being we need somebody to help us, talk to us, hear to us. One of the renowned Greek Philosopher has said that a man who says that he does not need anybody is either god or a beast. The phenomenon of communication is the natural desire of human being to express his/her feelings and ideas to others. The basic purpose of communication is to bring changes in the behaviour of the receiver. The basic purpose of communication is to inform, educate and entertain people. Different scholars have defined communication differently. However, some of the acceptable definitions are :
1.         Communication is the process in which the message moves from source to destination.
2.         To communicate one’s ideas, thoughts or feelings to another person.
3.         The process of transmitting means between two individuals.
4.         Communication occurs whenever information is passed from one place to another.
5.         Communication is the tool that makes society possible and distinguishes it from other societies.
6.         The essence of communication is getting the receiver and the sender, and tunes it for a particular purpose.
7.         Communication is simply “to make known” or “to pass news and information to and from.”
8.         “Who says, what, in which channel, to whom, with what effect” Harold lesswel.
The who is the speaker, the what, is the message, the whom refers to the receiver, the channel is medium that passes message from source to destination and the effect is the impact on ihe receiver about the message.
9.         Webster’s dictionary defines “Communication as a process by which information is exchanged between individuals through a common system of symbols, signs ; or behaviour, also techniques for expressing ideas effectively in a speech or writing.
1.          ” Communication is transfer of information from one person to another, whether or not it elicits confidence. But the information transferred must be understandable to the receiver – G.G. Brown.
2.         “Communication is the intercourse by words, letters or messages”- Fred G. Meyer.
We can now proceed to define communication from what we have seen above. To define means to give the precise and exact meaning of a word. The exact meaning of the word communicate is ‘to share’ or ‘to participate’. The dictionaries say that communication is the transmission of a message or information by speaking or writing. Another dictionary declares that communication is giving or exchanging information, signals, messages by talk or gestures or writing. Yet another definition says that communication is social intercourse. Communication is all this and much more. A good definition should not only give the precise meaning but also throw light on the scope of the word / expression.
Communication is giving, receiving or exchanging ideas, information, signals or messages through appropriate media, enabling individuals or groups to persuade, to seek information, to give information or to express emotions.
This broad definition includes body-language, skills of speaking and writing. It outlines the objectives of communication. It emphasizes listening as an important aspect of communication.
3.         Two-way process of reaching mutual understanding, in which participants not only exchange (encode-decode) information but also create and share meaning.
4.         “Any act by which one person gives to or receives from another person information about that person’s needs desires, perceptions, knowledge, or affective states. Communication may be intentional or unintentional, may involve conventional or unconventional signals, may take linguistic or nonlinguistic forms, and may occur through spoken or other modes.”
Elements of Communication:
Simply, we can define communication as “sharing of ideas or feelings with others.” Communication takes places when one person transmits information and understanding to another person. There is a communication when you respond or listen to someone. Movements of lips, the wave of hands or the wink of an eye may convey more meaning than even written or spoken words. The basic elements of communication process include communicator, communicatee, message, channel and feedback.
- Communicator is the sender, speaker, issuer or writer, who intends to express or send out a message.
- Communicatee is the receiver of the message for whom the communication is meant. The communicatee receives the information, order or message.
- Message, which is also known as the subject matter of this process, i.e., the content of the letter, speech, order, information, idea, or suggestion.
- Communication channel or the media through which the sender passes the information and understanding to the receiver. It acts as a connection between the communicator and the communicatee, i.e., the levels of communication or relationships that exist between different individuals or departments of an organization.
- Feedback, which is essential to make communication, a successful one. It is the effect, reply or reaction of the information transmitted to the communicatee.
Firstly, the communicator develops an exact idea about concepts, beliefs or data that he wants to convey. Then he translates the idea into words, symbols or some other form of message which he expects the receiver to understand. The communicator picks out an appropriate medium for transmitting the message. The message is then received by the communicatee. The communicatee acts upon the message as he has understood it. Finally, the effectualness of communication is assessed through response or feedback. If the communication brings in the desired changes in the actions, it is said to be successful communication.
6 Elements of Communication:
There are six elements in the process of communication which work as vehicles for sharing information, ideas and attitudes with someone. These elements are : -
 1. Source
 2. Encoding
3. Message
4. Channel
5. Receiver
6. Decoding
1.      SOURCE :-
Communication starts with the source, a person who speaks, writes or makes facial expressions is called the source. Source can be an individual or group of people or an inanimate like computer, radio, music, book, etc.
2.      ENCODING :-
Message always remains in the mind of the source in the form of an idea, when he gives physical shape to it by transmitting it into words or pictures then it becomes a message. This process is called encoding. In other words, the process of giving physical shape to one’s idea is known as encoding or the speaking mechanism of the source is called encoding. Giving names to things, ideas and experiences is also an act of encoding.
3.      MESSAGE :-
The coded idea of the sender is called message. When we write, the written script is our message. Message always transmits from source to destination. An objective of a message is to make understood the receiver as desired by the source.
4.      CHANNEL
Channel is a medium or transmitter which carries the message of the sender to the receiver. In case of mass communication, the channel might be radio, TV or newspaper. The sensing power of an individual is also channel of communication such as taste, Smell, hear and see etc.
5.      RECEIVER:
The recipient of the message is called the receiver. It may be an individual group of people or an organization.

i am from Gujranwala, Pakistan.
My Qualification is MSc. Mass Communication.
Wokring as Freelancer on Odesk.
I have an Urdu Blog and a Mass Commmunication Blog.
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One Response so far.

  1. Shakir bhat says:

    Communication is the basic need.Communication is giving,receving or exchanging ideas,informations signals,messages through approprate media.