Communications Research Paper on Miscommunications


Everyone who passes information to others hopes that the person or people that they are conveying it to will understand it. However, sometimes it is not the case and other times wrong or manipulated information is given out by the media. The concept of not communicating successfully is miscommunication. Those communicating would not, after all, if they knew that the information they are passing would not be understood. This paper addresses miscommunication and the various causes of miscommunication, as well as why the media may mislead the public.

Miscommunication is failure to pass information adequately or in the wrong way. It happens when people give out distorted and unclear information about various subjects. Miscommunications happen all the time in our daily today lives.

Various causes of miscommunications include giving too many details which are not necessary and therefore confusing. Giving out inadequate information, on the other hand, could be ineffective and confusing. Enough information is good for communication and necessary to avoid communication defects. Another cause could be an assumption that the recipient has some background knowledge about the information. This brings a gap in the communication rendering it unsuccessful (Curran et al., 2009). Another cause would be assuming that the information is known by everyone, yet even things that may seem common would be very strange especially to people who are not used to them. Communication would not flow if the person communicating passes information expecting that everyone understands simply because what they are saying is common. Little mistakes in language also make a huge difference in communication. Some words used in certain contexts would be misinterpreted listeners. The speaker may have a good intention but the listeners might interpret the information wrongly therefore bringing about miscommunication. The way of communicating is also very key in effective communication. How we communicate sometimes matter more than what we communicate. Miscommunications are also brought about by the media industry (Slovic, 2013). When news break, for example, news about a disease outbreak or a terrorist attack, people try to get more information on these news. The easiest and fastest way is through the internet and social media because people all over the world talk about it on all kinds of  platforms including facebook, Snapchat, twitter or any other social media platform. The information provided these platforms is unmonitored and so there is a big risk that there will be miscommunications. The information given out may have no facts, altered or wrong details added to suit some interests. For instance, the global terrorist war has been made to look like the Islamic states are fighting Non-Islamic states. That is not necessarily true, Muslims are good people and the terrorist gangs have Non-Muslims. The world’s perception that all Muslims are terrorists is as a result of miscommunication.

This does not imply that the media is ineffective. The media is doing a good job of passing information as well as other sources. Therefore, information consumers should be careful with the information that they get from the media as well as other sources.

In conclusion, miscommunication is very common in every society. The causes may vary but it is upon the information seekers to ensure that the information they get is accurate to avoid miscommunications. It is very possible to avoid miscommunication if the sender gives out the right information and the recipient interprets it correctly.




Curran, J., Iyengar, S., Brink Lund, A., & Salovaara-Moring, I. (2009). Media system, public knowledge and democracy: A comparative study. European Journal of Communication24(1), 5-26.

Slovic, P. (2013). Risk, media and stigma: Understanding public challenges to modern science and technology. Routledge.