OH! Saved from brink of death

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By Nicole Cohen

Oakham House’s floundering arts and culture magazine may have found its rescuers. Dave Fielding and Justin Anderson, two third-year magazine journalism students, have taken control of OH! Magazine.

Until Fielding and Anderson stepped in earlier this month, the magazine didn’t have an educator or plans for releasing an issue this year.

OH!, which is short for Oakham House, is usually published twice yearly by Ryerson’s Oakham House Societies. Chantel Guertin, this year’s original editor, resigned in October.

“It was too much work to undertake in fourth-year,” Guertin says. “I was doing it all on my own.”

Guertin handed her files back to Oakham House in October with hopes an issue could still be put together by the December deadline. However, no one stepped forward to take charge of the magazine.

Enter Fielding and Anderson. Looking for published material to put in their portfolios, the pair attended an Oakham Societies caucus meeting in early february and volunteered their editorial services.

Anderson was attracted to the idea of creating a magazine that he would enjoy reading.

“I have always been lamenting the fact that there is no Canadian magazine that appeals to people our age and background.”

With RyeSAC kicking in $2,000 to fund one issue instead of two, Anderson says he and Fielding now have the means to create such a magazine. They also plan to raise $1,000 in advertising revenue.

“Without bad-mouthing past issues of OH!, I would like it to be a real magazine,” Anderson says. “Something that people will pick up without caring that its put out by Ryerson.”

He wants to distribute OH! at stores and restaurants off Ryerson’s campus instead of just to journalism students. 

With the increased exposure, Fielding hopes the magazines will appeal to more people and be more lighthearted than past issues. 

He says things are in better shape than they were a few weeks ago, but there’s no guarantee they can put together an issue by the end of the school year.

“We’re piecing it together bit by bit. You get worried about small things that don’t work out, but then it all comes together and you’re fine,” Fielding says.

David Steel, Co-ordinator of Oakham House Societies and responsible for oversteering OHT!, is glad to see someone has taken the initiative to produce the magazine.

“OH! Has got a good tradition of having some provocative and cutting-edge work in it,” he says. “I think that Dave and Justin are very capable of doing it.”
If the magazine fails, the editors will be disappointed, but Fielding looks on the bright side.

“It wasn’t going to get done anyway, so we figured we might as well try.”

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