The Beginnings Of Communication Study: A Preliminary Observation

By Dato’ Sri Dr. Prof Syed Idid

Malaysia has a relatively short history or past  to have a historical view but  it is not long enough to provide for a meaningful historiography. Indeed to phrase it in terms of historiography would be an exaggeration of the various periods  in the development of the field.

Nevertheless, tracing the history of communication study is indeed important as it will contribute to an understanding of the field. Scholars in the United States have traced the history of communication from two strands, one the history of communication as deriving from mass communication and the other from speech communication. The former, that is history of mass communication studies, can be traced to start from the first World War  but communication studies, coming from Speech and rhetoric’s , is said to have began earlier. Some scholars have suggested that the study on communication study to have started during the time of Aristotle and Plato. The communication study could  hardly be started  before the  First world war,  taking  into  consideration for both the two types of communication.  Malaysia, therefore, does not have a long history to  have periodical divisions of time to have a meaningful historiography, but  needless, it would be  possible to discern certain periods, though short in nature, that have contributed to the development of  communication study in Malaysia.

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