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Survival of the published

New mags find their place on campus

by Brittany Gervais / Beacon Staff • January 17, 2013

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Chaos, Simmer, and Dirt magazines all started at Emerson this past year.
Chaos, Simmer, and Dirt magazines all started at Emerson this past year.

With all the publications available at Emerson, one can imagine how challenging it is to bring something new to the plate. With established competitors like Em Magazine and Gauge on campus, it can be a difficult task to prove worthy of picking up from the newsstand. 

The food periodical Simmer Magazine and the music-driven Chaos Magazine started last semester and are trying to make a name for themselves at the college. Now, Dirt Magazine is up for the challenge.

Dirt is Emerson’s first men’s periodical. The magazine is hoping to bring a new perspective to the campus with articles that will have both sports fanatics and food enthusiasts alike flipping through its pages. From entertainment and news to sex and alcohol, Dirt will give the reader a variety of articles to choose from. 

Marketing communication major and Co-Creator Chase Sounders said the topics are what will make Dirt different from all the other magazines on campus. 

“Dirt will have your typical ‘What’s going on around Emerson?’ and ‘Who’s that cool dude?’ type of articles,” Sounders said in an email. “But, it will also have things that seem to be unpopular to talk about at Emerson.”

Sounders said that as the semester continues, dirt staff members are hoping to organize some events and create a better marketing strategy to draw more attention.

Katherine Raymond, a junior marketing communication major and managing editor of Dirt, said the idea began when she and Sounders noticed the lack of male-oriented publications at Emerson. Although she is a woman, Raymond said that having a female editor and manager will help the magazine. 

“I see no difference in tailoring a magazine towards men, just like the magazines on campus are currently for women,” Raymond said. “I think that between Chase and I we bring a balance to Dirt.”

Raymond also said students can expect to see the first online issue around midterms and a print issue by the end of the semester.

In terms of how Dirt will stand out among its fellow campus publications, Sounders said Dirt will allow Emerson students to write and read about articles that could not fit anywhere else. 

“I think Dirt Magazine is important to Emerson because it can host a wide variety of articles, written by both men and women, which may not have had a space to be seen in the past,” Sounders said. “We want people to see creative articles that are different than the familiar material we are seeing right now.”

Also new on campus is Simmer Magazine, an online foodie publication, started early last semester. It began when Nisreen Galloway, a writing, literature, and publishing major in her junior year, realized there weren’t any magazines at Emerson where students could find great food on a college budget. 

“I always thought it was kind of weird that Boston is such a college-focused city, and there aren’t many places you can go where you can find restaurants that are cheap,” she said. 

Simmer is now a fully functioning online magazine with a website full of pictures to make your mouth water. And even though it is still new, Galloway is hoping her passion for food will help it continue to grow. 

“No matter the difficulties that show up starting a magazine, if you’re passionate about it, then that will come through, and you’ll be motivated to do the hard work that comes,” Galloway said.

Like Simmer, Chaos Magazine started earlier last semester. According to its website, Chaos is Emerson’s first all music publication. It aims to give readers a comprehensive guide on all things music, while still providing students with something different.

Co-Creator and Editor in Chief of Chaos Maria Spiridigliozzi, a junior journalism major, said she also got the idea for the magazine when she noticed something at Emerson was missing. 

“Emerson didn’t have one place to write about music,” she said. “We have WERS and WECB and some sections of other magazines but no one, collected place.”

So far, she said, students are loving it and Chaos is here to stay.

 “I’m very happy with how things are going,”  Spiridigliozzi said. “I think this semester will be smoother, and you’ll hear more from Chaos.”

But once a magazine makes it big at Emerson, the rest is history. According to its website, Em Magazine is Emerson’s premiere fashion and culture magazine. 

Started in 2007 by alumna Andrea Martucci and Faye Brennan, Em Magazine appeared as a new publication that stood apart in content from any other glossy magazine on campus. 

Martucci, who is now the managing editor and managing director of Ploughshares Literary Journal, said they had to fight for everything they got. 

“It was extremely hectic and was a full-time job on top of our full course load and part-time jobs, but it was an enormously important learning experience,” she said in an email. “Nobody thought we could do it.” 

Said new magazines should consider the work it takes to keep up with publication.

“It’s very easy to look at an existing magazine and say, “I can do that!” Maybe you can, but why do something that’s already been done?”