Removal of WordPress as resource endangers student journalism


Reece Ingram, Editor-in-Chief

Fayette County Public Schools is cutting student and faculty access to WordPress, a format for posting content online. WordPress runs the Devils’ Advocate and many other sites. The district has not yet mentioned the reason for closing the current program.  The district emailed the Devils’ Advocate Faculty Advisor stating all WordPress sites will be terminated in six weeks. That leaves six weeks to find a way to preserve the past six years of HC news.

FCPS has given the DA an empty promise for finding a replacement. The website is a public service, making the HC community aware of current events.

The DA is quickly looking into different programs to use to maintain their presence within student journalism. Other SNO websites are being taken into consideration. The DA has found an alternative resource that is $850 this year, and an additional $400 for the following. However, the Journalism budget has no funding. As a result, DA students must fundraise or find a sponsor in order guarantee the DA’s continuation.

The DA’s website is the focal point of the class. By continuing without it, the class would become obsolete. The Journalism class is a production class, and it creates a work-like environment for students that will prepare them for future careers. FCPS wants to focus on career-readiness in schools. Journalism is a class that prepares students for future careers. Eliminating the class, or its production focus, would be hypocritical.

Six years ago, the funding for all FCPS journalism was cut. Every Journalism program closed, except for the two that went digital: Paul Laurence Dunbar’s “The Lamplighter” and HC’s DA. That digital website was and is made by WordPress. WordPress is used by 34% of the entire internet. It is frequently used in the professional world, and removing it would be taking away from career-readiness.

Time and time again, the DA has had to fight for their position at HC. Funding an acceptable web server is necessary to keep student journalism alive and to continue bringing the news to students and faculty.