The process model of communications is a basic yet fundamental model for communication studies. Through its simplistic nature we are able to reproduce understandings of the mass media (Sinclair, 2002) and how messages signalled, delivered, decoded and received to individuals (Schirato & Yell, 1996). However, this model of communication fails to acknowledge the complexities of the communication process, leading to flaws in the model. This essay will discuss; what the transmission model is, to what degree is it effective? Whether or not the model works in practice and alternative ways the process can function more smoothly according to Schirato and Yell. This will also be written in reference to the radio and telephone.
The process model of communications was originally designed from various American theories to improve and explain communication practices within large organisations (Schirato and Yell,1996), hence is quite capable of explaining mass communication (Thompson, 1997). This theory was then translated into a form that applied to everyday and media culture. This model took shape in the form of a sender, a message and a receiver.
Schirato and Yell (Schirato and Yell, 1996), through the works of Gunther Kress (Kress, 1988), explain this model of communication its similarities with postal service. Firstly, something is composed (written, spoken, signalled) then it is addressed, mailed and delivered (Message sent through speech, writing or gestures) and then the message is received (read, decoded, accepted). .
This linear process is unilateral, in that the meaning resides within the message which is then passed onto the passive receiver (Sinclair, 2002), leaving no room for interpretation of meaning. Hence, the emphasis of this model is placed on the sender as it assumes that the audience has shared values with the sender, who transmits a single meaning in each message.