Five characteristics of mass communication have been identified by Cambridge University's John Thompson. Firstly, it "comprises both technical and institutional methods of production and distribution". This is evident throughout the history of the media, from print to the Internet, each suitable for commercial utility.
Secondly, it involves the "commodification of symbolic forms",as the production of materials relies on its ability to manufacture and sell large quantities of the work. Just as radio stations rely on its time sold to advertisements, newspapers rely for the same reasons on its space.
Mass communication's third characteristic is the "separate contexts between the production and reception of information", while the fourth is in its "reach to those 'far removed' in time and space, in comparison to the producers".
Mass communication, which involves "information distribution". This is a "one to many" form of communication, whereby products are mass produced and disseminated to a great quantity of audiences.