Communication: The term “communication” comes from Latin word “communis” meaning common. When we communicate with someone we try to establish a certain degree of commonness with the communicate. Eg. By sharing some information, an idea or an attitude. Communication therefore refers to transmission or exchange of information, message, etc. Communication takes place when people send or receive message of various kind. So information and communication are two interlinked term in the sense that without information communication is not possible.
The Oxford English Dictionary defines communication as “the imparting, conveying or exchange of ideas and knowledge whether by speech, writing or signs”.
The Columbia Encyclopaedia of Communication defines it as “the transfer of thought and message as contrasted with transportation of goods and person”.
In ordinary usage the verb “to communicate” means
i) To exchange thoughts, feelings, information;
ii) To make known;
iii) To make common;
iv) To have a sympathetic relationship.
In the noun form “communication” refers to
i) The exchange of symbols, common message, information;
ii) The process of exchange between individual through a common system of symbols;
iii) The art of expressing ideas and
iv) The science of transmitting information.
In the popularly understood sense of the term communication refers to anything from a face to face conversion between two persons, conversion over the telephone, and correspondence between friends. The transmission of programmes on live television are broadcast via communication satellite i.e received by millions of people.
1. Elements of Communication: The communication process requires at least three elements.
a) Source: The source is a point at which message originates. It can be an individual or an organization, a human being or a machine.
b) Channel: The message may be in audible, visual, or tactile form as any signal capable of meaningful interpretation.
c) Destination: The destination or recipient, which again can be a person or a group of person, is in the final link of the communication chain. Destination is the interceded target of the message.
2. Media and Forms of Communication of Information: There is a distinct difference between communication of information and communication of commodities, energy, heat, etc. i.e one’s own stock of information or knowledge is not going to diminish by communicating to others. Thus the ownership of information may multiply but not change hands like a physical commodity. Further one can communicate information which he does not have, eg. about one’s own behaviour.
Quite often two or more channels may be used together for effective communication and the channels of dissemination may form a series of alternative routes, through the total communication system.
Communication is a process of transferring message from one point to another. The four element of any communication process are the reader, the medium, the receiver and the feedback. In Library and Information Science several models of communication are used in the dissemination of information through e-mail, post, telephone line, through oral verbal communication, videoconferencing etc.