Definition of encoding/decoding- verbal/non-verbal communication and medium (plural)-mass media/mass communication.

Posted: September 21, 2012 by sherwoodywood in Unit 1 Definitions

By Erin Sherwood

Encoding/Decoding – Verbal and Nonverbal Communication-

“A message first ‘encoded’, that is transformed into an understandable sign and symbol system. Speaking is encoding, as are writing, printing, and filming a television program. Once recieved, the message is ‘decoded’; that is, the signs and symbols are interpreted. Decoding occurs through listening, reading, or watching that television show.”

This quote comes Clawson, found in our textbook. What it tells us is that basically, the term “encoding” is equivalent to verbal communication and that “decoding” is equivalent to nonverbal communication. Both of these types of communication are very important and it is important to understand how one might effect the other.

When trying to think of an actual example of how encoding/decoding is important, I first thought of customer service. It is important for both the customer service representative and the customer to use both verbal and nonverbal correctly. I found an image on a Canadian health website that illustrates this perfectly.

Medium (plural-) Mass Media, Mass Communication-

A “medium” is easily described as a way that information travels from a sender to a receiver. Examples of a medium may include voice, telephone, written words, etc.

“Mass media” can be defined as spreading the same information to various receivers. Typically, mass media uses a type of technology to carry the message to all of the different receivers. Examples of this may be things such as radio, magazines, t.v. shows, and newspapers.

The best way to explain “mass communication” is to say that it is process of how the receivers interpret the message sent through mass media. Without this, there would be no communication between the senders and receivers.

To me, these all tie together perfectly. You start off with a piece of information that is transmitted through a  medium to to various receivers, which also can be called mass mediaThe way all of the receivers understand this information is known mass communication.

The example I chose to represent this is sort of cheesy. I found an article on the New York Daily News website that talks about how believing in romance on TV might effect your real life relationships. I chose this because it is a perfect example of how a team of people come up with a script of a relationship for a tv show (the original information), it is sent out through the show it’s self by means of television (mass media), and is received by countless people who watch the show and is interpreted differently (mass communication).

  1. Alfred says:

    thanks for your contribution..but from my own understanding of the term medium and its example differ a little from your..medium is the nature of expression of the communication eg. oral, written and non verbal. and the eg. you gave “telephone” could be classified as a channel with other like letters, road signs etc and channel could be defined as the actual way in which the message is passed

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