Television was regarded the world's most powerful medium in the 20th century. Broadcast networks "dominate the world's most powerful communications force." In 1973, it was reported the government in India sought to reach "with a sense of desperate urgency" the 80% of the 560 million Indians living in 150,000 villages with messages about birth control, improved agriculture and environmental health. It was understood "communication (at the time) with the illiterate masses (nine-tenths could not read) in the villages remains a frustrating problem. Television is now (in 1973) favored as a mass-communication instrument of educating the people." One official acknowledged, "We can't bring the villages to the 20th century, but we can bring the 20th century to the villages."
In his address to the House of Commons about a new Ministry of Communications in 1969, Postmaster-General Eric Kierans made plain, "Communications (ways of sending and receiving information) is the nerve-system of our society. No field of science, with the possible exception of space technology, is changing at as fast a rate, and no field of science, with the possible exception of genetics, contains within it greater implications, good or bad, for society, and for the individual...The Department of Communications, will concern itself with the medium, not with the message. But the 2 cannot be separated. Without accepting uncritically the dictum that the medium is the message, it is obvious that the former affects the latter, and that any message is altered and conditioned by the medium through which it is communicated. Communications constitutes the most important single element in the Technological Revolution that has overtaken us and which is carrying us along - willingly or unwilling is virtually irrelevant – toward a kind of society which we can as yet only dimly perceive."
Lesa Dill was a professor at Western Kentucky University. She taught linguistics. Lesa was matter-of-fact in 2001, "When you're out there trying to get a $100,000-a-year job, (an accent) may be a barrier you don't want to have." Alicia Carmichael of The Daily News noted, "In a world in which television news anchors such as Texas native Dan Rather routinely change their accents to get on the air, having a Southern dialect or a 'country' accent often is considered a detriment." Dennis Person remarked, "It's difficult to adopt a regional dialect after puberty." Christine Morris, a Southerner, taught drama at Duke University in North Carolina spent 9 years up north in New York City, "There's actually a linguistic term for it. It's called code-switching. We all do it." Christine believed neutral speech was an asset to an actor. However an accent was considered a detriment. Walt Wolfram was a linguistics professor at North Carolina State University reasoned, "Speaking Southern is considered a pleasant thing." Kay Payne taught voice and diction and also wrote the book, 'Voice and Diction' published in 1996. She pointed out, many companies would say, "I want to have a classy organization and, if you don't talk with standard dialect, I don't want you to represent my company. Some companies actually say 'you need help with your diction.'"
Lea Kohl major in performing arts at Western Kentucky University, made known, "It's not that the Southern accent (from Alabama) is a bad thing but if you want to be in theater (you have to change the accent). It's so easy to slip into that twang." Lea took a voice-for-the-stage class. Professor David Young helped Lea to "neutralize her accent into standard American stage speech". Professor Young made the point, "That's because an accent is ingrained, and it's easy to fall back into it when you're around people who still use it. It helped me that I was in London and away from the Kansas accent."
In 1991, English teacher Bob Shaw and computer teacher Bill Hensley decided to use television to teach students at Tonganoxie Junior High School in Kansas to communicate. Bill: "I wanted to do it to show students how they can use technology to communicate." Bob: "My interest lies in a speech point of view, to let kids see that there is a practical application to speaking correctly. They become a lot more aware of diction, slowing down and highlighting some words." Instead of reading the school's day messages over the intercom each morning, "students will participate in spreading the school's news through a medium most youngsters will pay attention to – television."