Book Review : Mass communication explained

Mass Communication for Grade XI

Author: Laxman Datt Pant

Published by Vidyarthi Prakashan (2007)

208 pages

Price Rs 140

Santosh Chhetri


Written by an academician and a journalist turned human rights activist, Laxman Datt Pant, this textbook of mass communication prescribed by the Higher Secondary Education Board (HSEB) syllabus for grade XI, is useful for students and teachers alike.

Though the study of mass communication in Nepali colleges started three decades ago, students at around 113 private colleges under the HSEB, TU and Prubanchal University lack a handy English textbook creating a huge demand for books authored by native writers. This book aims to provide them an accessible, authoritative but preliminary guide to the central concepts informing the innovatory and burgeoning field of mass communication studies. The book boasts of being the ‘first’ English textbook under the HSEB syllabus for grade XI.

Shorn of jargons and unnecessary twists, it explains a number of ideas, concepts and themes of mass communication in diverse ways without slipping an inch from the HSEB course. Each concept is explained in a detailed, detached and neutral manner.

Introduction of each title is followed by renowned scholars’ definition and elaboration. The sections throw up useful perspectives on journalism respecting the spirit of the course. Divided into five units, it touches on introduction of mass communication with its types, function, elements and linkage with mass media, including the world’s and Nepal’s history of mass media in its first unit.

The second unit includes concepts of journalism and news, news writing and editing and newspaper layouts and designing based on usual practices around the world. While in unit four, freedom of the press and human rights follow principles and provisions of the UDHR, other decelerations and the recently amended interim constitution of Nepal, among others is included.

A separate chapter for glossary in unit five is a bonus for students and teachers. Of the 208 pages in ‘key concepts’, almost 72 pages are dedicated to glossary and reference.

Any teacher and student lacking the understanding of intricacies and challenges of teaching and learning mass communication will find this book an authoritative and informative source. Apart from the grade XI students, TU students at intermediate level and working journalists will find this book useful.

Despite everything, the book has some shortcomings. Written under the HSEB syllabus constraint, latest information and developments about mass communication have been left out. It also fails to keep students abreast of the Nepali perspectives based on our own ground reality. As the mass communication field has a changing nature, attempts should be made to keep track of the new things for college-level students considering technological aspects.