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McQuail's Mass Communication Theory

McQuail started his academic career in the UK. On 1 August 1977, he was appointed Professor at the University of Amsterdam, where on 6 November 1978 he spoke the inaugural lecture, entitled "The historicity of a science of mass media: time, place, circumstances and the effects of mass communication."[1] After his early retirement on 1 January 1997, he was appointed Emeritus Professor. He was also Visiting Professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Southampton.[6]

McQuail's Mass Communication Theory

McQuail published extensively in the field of political communication and communication theory. Best known is his contribution to the education of the public, concerning communication theory. His work has centred on explaining communication theories and their applications. He is adamant about informing the public on the benefits and dangers of mass communication.

In the early 1980s he and Dr. Sven Windahl published a book Communication Models. The book details basic communication models (Lasswell model, Shannon and Weaver's model, Gerbner's model), theories of media, audience-centered models, and mass media systems in general. In textbook style, the book outlines each topic: it is a compilation of existing communication theories with the author's own thoughts.

McQuail's next book, Mass Communication Theory, discusses in greater detail the mass communication concept. Specifically, it talks about the significance of mass media and how it affects the individual and society rather than focusing on the definitions of the models in general. "The three primary objectives: to update and take account of recent theory and research; enlargement, to reflect the continuing expansion of the field; clarification and improved presentation (pg. 13)". In Chapter 10, McQuail discusses the future of mass communication and states that it is either socially fragmenting or unifying. He makes several points on how the media needs to be socially responsible to be effective.

In 1993, communication scholars Denis McQuail and Sven Windahl referred to Lasswell's model as "perhaps the most famous single phrase in communication research." McQuail and Windahl also considered the model as a formula that would be transformed into a model once boxes were drawn around each element and arrows connected the elements. In 1995, Stanley Baran and Dennis Davis recognized it a verbal model of the communication process. In 2008, Greenberg and Salwen acknowledged that Lasswell's model of communication has been widely adopted, but expressed: "Although Lasswell's model draws attention to several key elements in the mass communication process, it does no more than describe general areas of study. It does not link elements together with any specificity, and there is no notion of an active process.

Now in its seventh edition, this landmark text continues to define the field of media and mass communication theory and research, offering a uniquely comprehensive and balanced guide. It maintains the narrative of earlier editions into the world of pervasive, ubiquitous, mobile, social and always-online media that we live in today.New to this edition:

The Fifth Edition of this bestselling textbook provides a comprehensive, non-technical introduction to the range of approaches to understanding mass communication. Fully revised, and with new student-friendly features, McQuail's Mass Communication Theory: offers an integrated treatment of the major components of mass communication - the sender, the message, and the audience; considers all the diverse forms of mass communication in contemporary societies - television, radio, newspapers, film, music, the internet and other forms of new media; and demonstrates how theories of mass communication relate to the broader understanding of society and culture.

While he took early retirement in 1997, he continued as emeritus professor at Amsterdam and was a visiting professor in the Department of Politics at the University of Southampton. In 2006, the Amsterdam School of Communication Research created the Denis McQuail Award to recognize the best peer-reviewed article in communication theory each year.

The Sixth Edition of this bestselling textbook covers everything a student needs to know of mass communication: communication models of the sender, the message and the audience and the diverse forms of mass communication today, including television, radio, newspapers, film, music, the internet and other forms of new media. This book proves that more than ever, theories of mass communication matter for the broader understanding of society and culture. 041b061a72


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