Canadian Magazine Industry News
27 March 2014,     TORONTO
Shameless celebrates 10 years of 'talking back'
Shameless unveiled a new website this past International Women's Day, coinciding with the magazine's 10th anniversary and setting the stage for its new fundraising initiatives.

The magazine, published three times a year, covers news, art, culture and politics, providing a platform for young women and trans youth voices. Its previous blog-centric online presence attracted welcome international traffic, but editorial and art director Sheila Sampath says it led many visitors to mistake the brand for an online-only venture.

The new Shameless website went live on March 7
The new Shameless website went live on March 7

"The print magazine does quite well but people find out about us through our web presence," said Sampath. The redesign maintains the heavy blog thrust but also more prominently displays the print edition and "portrays it as a tangible artifact that people can buy or ask us for, or use as a tool in their classroom."

Posts are now tagged and linked to themed print editions. Upcoming issues will focus on fashion and technology, for example, and the online content will follow suit. "The blog becomes the community to talk about related issues that we put online, and then also to talk about the actual print issues as well," Sampath explains.

As Shameless enters its 10th year, it also looks to ramp up its fundraising efforts. Sampath calls the operation "super grassroots," noting that freelancers as well as staff work on the publication for free in their spare time. (The redesign was handled by The Public, the activist design studio Sampath runs as her full-time job.)

"I think it's a miracle that we publish a magazine," she said. "I think because we're used to that, we internally don't recognize that we're not breaking even. We're still publishing, but the labour is invisible."

Along with holding more events including its annual silent auction, Shameless will promote its "Hall of Shameless" fundraising drive where readers can donate monthly to support the magazine. Donors will be profiled regularly on the website.

"We've never asked before [for financial support]. It's kind of strange, but none of us have ever thought to. This is going to be the year that we go knocking," said Sampath.

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