Baudrillard formulated simulacra and simulation, which discuss signs and images and relate to the present society. He claimed that the current society replaced meaning and reality with signs and symbols. Baudrillard points out that, human experience is a result of stimulation, and not the reality of life. Simulacra are signs of media and culture that create perceived reality. Society relies much on simulacra and has lost contact with the real world. Human experience is eventually a simulation of hyper real reality. According to Baudrillard, there are three categories identifying stages of signs and their historical periods. The first order is associated the pre-modern era. In this category, images are artificial pace makers of the real objects. The second order is related to the industrial revolution. In this period, the distinction between the image and reality breaks down as a result of propagation of mass media. The ability of items to replace reality replaces the original version. The third order is associated with post-modern age. In this era, simulacrum leads the original difference between the presentation breakdown and reality (Baudrillard 1988).
Communication is the means of passing information from one place to another. It is the means of transmitting messages from one party to another. The media are used to communicate to a large audience in a specified geographical area over a specified time. There are many theories of communication accountable for the communication process. Contemporary media, such as Internet, billboards, magazines, films, and television are concerned with relaying information and interpreting personalities of their audience (Rogers 1985). The media approaches the world with images, and helps the audience interpret it through the lens of pictures, signs, and images. This makes the audience move from reality, and use commercialized images in their day to day life. The media use pictures to represent words and convey a message in the simplest way possible (Baudrillard 1988).
The proverb “A picture is worth a thousand words” has been used since the early 1920s. This maxim means that a composite notion can be transmitted using a single image. Additionally, the adage reveals one goal of visualization, which means that the huge amounts of information can be absorbed quickly using one image. It is a fact that a picture is worth a thousand words. Firstly, a picture is visible to all people and is hard to ignore. This makes it a good element of communication. It attracts all eyes passing around it, and demands for an interpretation. Additionally, a picture is not discriminative. This means that both the literates and illiterates have freedom of observing pictures and interpreting (Hegarty 2004). However, pictures are a part of art, which is literature in nature. Therefore, the interpretation depends on the viewers’ perception and experience. Every picture reveals a different meaning to different individuals (Kamau 2010).
Pictures have been used in the communication process in media for many decades. Martin Lurther is among the people who preferred using pictures to communicate. Pictures do not have to have writings in them to be understood. This makes them advantaged, as there is no language barrier. Additionally, their size and color make them visible and attractive to all. Currently, the media are using images to influence movies, public service advertisement, televisions, and political campaigns. Images have successfully transmitted information to the targeted group and the entire society. Theories of communication have been incorporated in the media and have been victorious.