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“Leaving Alabama Behind” by Roy Hoffman Essay (Critical Writing)

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Updated: Aug 29th, 2020


This essay is a rhetorical analysis of “Leaving Alabama Behind” by Roy Hoffman. It discusses the rapid shift in approaches employed in news delivery in Alabama. Indicatively, Hoffman attempts to highlight the changing strategies employed by diverse media houses in disseminating news stories. Hoffman is unhappy with the changes because some of the new strategies are inappropriate. The author draws comparisons between news dissemination approaches used almost one century ago and the modern ones. Much as news dissemination is rapidly changing as a result of technological advancements, this paper declares that news dissemination through the Internet is highly inappropriate for targeting the Alabamians.


Evidently, Hoffman developed this story using diverse literary styles. Indeed, from the beginning readers’ thoughts are drawn to a unique news dissemination approach used1918. He informs readers about a conversation with his father regarding a reporter named George Flournoy who disseminated news by shouting through a window. Notably, in 1918 any information about World War 1 generated news of immense importance. However, George disseminated news about the armistice, which ended the war through shouting through a window at his workplace.

News dissemination in Alabama has witnessed rapid growth. Hoffman emphasizes that in 1929 news dissemination developed so much that it was possible to relay information as it occurred. The author uses quotation marks to emphasize how accelerated news dissemination benefited the targeted audience. Hoffman informs readers that megaphones were applicable in accelerating news dissemination.

The Internet is the greatest news dissemination strategy employed by almost all media houses. Indicatively, the quest for knowledge has forced people to use the Internet. The internet has enabled media houses to disseminate their news online. Many people were losing interest in published news because similar information was available online. Indeed, Hoffman uses questions to probe readers’ opinions on whether people would wait for published newspapers when the Internet made it easy to read the news in real-time content.

Notably, news dissemination in print media and the Internet would continue concurrently. Hoffman highlights that reliance wholly on the Internet to disseminate news amounts to “leaving Alabamians behind.” He uses questions to seek clarification about the impact of online news dissemination on Alabamians. The author engages readers in a history game involving questions in order to generate information about news stories that are of significance to the Alabamians.

Hoffman uses examples of news stories such as 16th Street Baptist Church bombing and civil rights demonstrations, which were known to Alabamians. These happenings appeared in the next day’s print media and Alabamians considered that they arrived as soon as they took place. The author also insinuates that print media offered detailed news than TV, radio, and the Internet.

The author also uses first-hand information to highlight the level of suffering among the Alabamians. The author also used the Pinchard, Ala to exemplify how poverty affected accessibility to information. Pinchard has 23,000 residents and 36 percent of them live below the poverty index. The failure by the town to pay pensions indicates the level of poverty. Furthermore, only 25 percent of Alabamians have access to the Internet. Therefore, disseminating news on specific days using the Internet leaves the Alabamians behind.

The author insinuates that print media receives a wider readership in Alabama. Indeed, many Alabamians access news in print by sharing newspapers in areas such as churches, social places, and households. Hoffman has proved that Alabamian’s thirst for news in print is well developed. Apparently, print media is the most effective news dissemination. This is because it has a wider readership in rural areas. Older people and other marginalized populations have a higher interest in reading new spares that are well documented.


Inappropriate targeting of the target audience by the media houses potentially affects business. The Internet is not applicable to the region. Furthermore, supplying newspapers to newer areas without market intelligence negatively affects business. Indicatively, inappropriate strategies shall force companies to retrench workforces. The author declares that news dissemination through the Internet cannot successfully take place in Alabama.

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""Leaving Alabama Behind" by Roy Hoffman." IvyPanda, 29 Aug. 2020, ivypanda.com/essays/leaving-alabama-behind-by-roy-hoffman/.

1. IvyPanda. ""Leaving Alabama Behind" by Roy Hoffman." August 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leaving-alabama-behind-by-roy-hoffman/.


IvyPanda. ""Leaving Alabama Behind" by Roy Hoffman." August 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leaving-alabama-behind-by-roy-hoffman/.


IvyPanda. 2020. ""Leaving Alabama Behind" by Roy Hoffman." August 29, 2020. https://ivypanda.com/essays/leaving-alabama-behind-by-roy-hoffman/.


IvyPanda. (2020) '"Leaving Alabama Behind" by Roy Hoffman'. 29 August.

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