The paper deals with the role of background knowledge in providing communication in translation of news mass media texts. The analysis is based on the research into the phenomenon of background knowledge in Russian and international translation and communication theory and practice. The leading approaches used by the authors are literature analysis, observation and classification of the research material as well as interviewing, collecting and analyzing the data received via a set of interviews, tests and surveys. To grant well-grounded conclusions the survey of communication background knowledge standard of 57 junior undergraduates is provided in the paper. The authors conclude that background knowledge is crucial for successful communication in translation of news mass media texts to provide for better understanding between the participants of a communication act. The results of the research may be applied by university staff, educators and researchers who are involved in professional linguistic and communication research and training worldwide.Keywords: Background knowledge, communication, mass media, linguistics, student.