The first ever mitZine was published in 2000. It was created as an alternative student publication based out of the Faculty of Information and Media Studies. Initially, it was created to provide an alternative to on-campus media, such as The Gazette, but has grown to be so much more.
In the early 2000s, it was a small publication, printed in black and white on regular paper. It averaged 10 pages per issue. The publication now is a 24-page magazine with a colour cover.
It even underwent a name change late in 2012 from ‘mitZine’ to ‘Openwide.’ The change was to be more inclusive of all the streams in our faculty: MIT, MPI, and MTP. That’s why our MITSC became FIMSSC, and mitZine became Openwide.
The magazine used to be funded by advertisers. Out of all of the Volume 6 staff, 12 students from the team were dedicated to advertising. It was the primary source of funding to cover printing costs. This was in 2006 before the Undergraduate Student Fund (USF) was established. In many of our MIT classes, we learn that an advertising presence has an indirect influence on content. Though most of the sponsors were local shops (i.e. City Lights Bookshop or The Boardshop), using part of your staff to constantly find sponsorship takes away from time that could be spent refining an article. It is also problematic for a mainly student publication to be inundated with advertisements. Though most FIMS students are media literate, to be thought of a consumer first, reader second, is not the relationship Openwide wants to have with its readership.
Why the history lesson? This year, Openwide put in a proposal for a multi-year funding from the USF (btw anyone in FIMS can apply). In our application we stressed this history – Openwide isn’t just a magazine; it is part of the FIMS experience for so many of us. As previous editor-in-chief for mitZine in 2006 put it, the approval of the application will allow future editors to “see a new generation of FIMS’ students contributing critical and engaging editorial without the worry of whether or not they’ll be able to keep their publication alive year by year.”
You are part of something so much bigger, and the committee seemed to agree. Our proposal got approved and for the next 3 years we will have no mo’ money problems! To create a direction for the future, we have to know where we have been. As I graduate, my gift to Openwide is my memory of it throughout my time in FIMS.
Volume 12 // Year of the Jordan
The year Openwide officially got its new name. The editor-in-chief also ended up becoming the FIMSSC president, and overall this was a pretty badass year for the publication.
Volume 14 // Year of the Chris
~Volume 13~ doesn’t exist because he didn’t remember what the count was. We’d like to believe he was a superstitious guy and that’s what you will tell people if anyone asks (which they probably won’t), but it really was a blooper in Openwide’s history.
His “Western Inc.” boob cover caused some controversy, but it really didn’t because no one formally complained – but we did run into issues when we tried to post it online on Issuu. He is also responsible for building the current wooden stand in NCB.
Volume 15 // Year of the Travis
Great content was published such as articles about the Black Student Experience and UWOFA contract negotiations but only three issues were printed this year. The first cover was the most memorable with former FIMSSC president holding a “quality education FOR SALE” sign in front of UC tower.
Volume 16 // Year of the Stephanie
I resurrected Zine Canada – my favourite section from Volume 12. Our team made buttons for the holiday issue. And if anyone noticed, this should really be renamed as Year of the Shia because we tried to incorporate him into every issue.
Currently every issue since 2010 is available online through our Issuu [issuu.com/openwidezine] and some articles have been re-published on the blog [openwidezine.com]. I encourage everyone to dig around, look at how far we’ve come, maybe read some #tbt articles.
Openwide Fun Fact!
• The cover is based off the Adbusters aesthetic