information function

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The use of communication for imparting facts or knowledge. It presupposes a normative relationship in which the sender's purpose is to inform and the receiver's purpose is to understand. In communication where the primary function is informational, content tends be foregrounded (rather than form or style). It is a major purpose for individuals in both interpersonal communication and in their use of the mass media, although in that context it is often referred to by sociologists as the surveillance function (see also communicative functions; personal functions; uses and gratifications). The circulation of information and news is also one of the major roles of the mass media from the functional perspective of society, again often termed the surveillance function (see also media functions). Communication is often reductively defined as the transmission of information (see also transmission models). See also exposition; informational communication; referential function.

Subjects: Media Studies.

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