Devils' Advocate

The Student News Site of Henry Clay High School

Devils' Advocate

Devils' Advocate

Potential removal of Journalism raises concern at HC

Sydney Cain
Sign found outside of room 42: home of the Devils’ Advocate.

Elective courses are essential to the academic journey of high school students. Exploring and pursuing a variety of interests is an opportunity that should not be limited. Currently, various elective courses are being considered for removal for next school year, one of which is Journalism. This should be concerning to all of the HC community. The Devils’ Advocate, the student newspaper, has been functioning since 1916 and holds its rightful place in education, serving the community in a multitude of ways.

Not only is the newspaper an informative resource for our community, but it is also an outlet for students to voice their opinions in a professional manner. To take away student newspaper means to limit the student body’s freedom of expression. Students have a right to their opinions. Other public high schools in Fayette County offer Journalism, and cutting the class would fail to honor equal opportunity throughout the district. If the student newspaper is let go, what could be next?

The skills acquired as a student journalist can be utilized throughout all areas of education. The ability to write well is used in all core and elective classes. Journalism’s profound academic effects are seen in the well-rounded students found on the Devils’ Advocate staff today. Seniors and alumni include their experience on a high school newspaper staff as a part of their college applications, allowing them to stand out from other applicants. Many alumni go on to pursue Journalism after high school, such as Chris Reece (who even recently won a highly coveted Emmy Award). His success would not have been possible without his experience of Journalism at HC. It would be unacceptable to take these opportunities away from students who are currently working in leadership roles for the Devils’ Advocate.

In addition to writing, conducting interviews fosters the growth of conversation skills, a skill which is becoming less present in the world of modern technology. Interviews allow students to become more comfortable with speaking to authoritative figures, an ability that will prove to be crucial as students enter the workforce. Reporters get the opportunity to interact and work face-to-face with administration and other staff members on a level that students ordinarily do not. Character and academic development are both more heavily implemented in Journalism than any other class. It is evident that the value of Journalism surpasses any reason for its departure.

The work-like environment of the course prepares students for a professional future. The staff produces and runs a news website together. Reporters and editors are dependent on each other; it is rewarding for students to adapt and navigate this type of setting. Additionally, students are given the opportunity to take on leadership roles as they work towards becoming a part of the editorial staff. Overall, the class replicates the professional atmosphere of a high-performing workplace. Journalism is an original course that no alternative could replace. This reasoning alone should be more than enough to keep the class at HC.

The current amount of students who have signed up for Journalism is suitable for a successful staff. Furthermore, transitioning to a block schedule is on the horizon, and students will have the ability to take more elective classes. The number of students that sign up for Journalism is then bound to increase. The newspaper at HC has been in operation for over a century – it is unreasonable to simply take a break until the implementation of block scheduling.

Some have proposed turning the student newspaper into an after-school club. However, this idea is not equitable. Student journalists should be granted access to the entire HC community. This is only feasible if Journalism functions during the school day. Furthermore, many student journalists participate in extracurriculars and are employed, so it would be impossible for those students to spend an adequate amount of time working on the student newspaper. It is insensible to restrict Journalism from operating during school hours.

The possibility of removing Journalism as an elective course is not in the community’s best interest, and it is urgent that such plans are reconsidered. Journalism at HC has demonstrated its significance to students in educational and professional settings for more than a century. Journalism should retain its title of an elective course for years to come.

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About the Contributor
Sydney Cain, Editor
Sydney Cain is a sophomore and an editor for the Devils' Advocate. This is her second year in journalism. She is a dedicated student athlete who enjoys playing for the HC volleyball team and traveling to new places.

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