With a collective history of working in zines and independent media totaling over 20 years, Jen Angel and Jason Kucsma came together to start Clamor in 1999. Still, they had no idea what they were getting into.
Clamor was borne from a desire to create a media outlet with the vibrance and diversity Jen and Jason saw in the underground zine culture, but with the accessibility and inclusiveness of a nationally distributed magazine – and apparently the desire to work long hours for no pay.
Jen and Jason contacted writers and artists they knew and put together the first issue, which debuted in February 2000 with the 1999 WTO protests in Seattle on the cover.
Over the first year, Jen and Jason refined the mission of the organization to explicitly support participatory media – media that is accessible to individuals who aren’t professional journalists – based on a belief that individuals’ experiences and interpretations of the world are just as important and valid as how “experts” interpret the world. Clamor’s open submission policy allows anyone to contribute to the magazine and have his/her material considered equally.
In 2001, Clamor expanded to include editors for each of the sections. In addition to lightening the workload for Jen and Jason, the transition made for a better magazine with each section editor able to focus specifically on putting the best people, culture, media, economics, politics, reviews, and sex and gender sections together for Clamor readers. This editorial group works together to solicit material and review unsolicited submissions, and to build a cohesive and intentional magazine. Each edition features a theme or cover story, with many supporting articles. Guidelines for submitting material can be found here.
The group expanded in 2006 to include an additional Associate Publisher and an Advisory Board Director. The Associate Publisher works with Jen and Jason to help Clamor stay financially stable, deal with marketing and outreach, financial analysis, strategic planning, and a host of other related projects. Our Advisory Board Director works to compile an all-star roster of individuals from all walks to help guide the good ship Clamor .
Over the years, Clamor has come to be a publication of radical culture and politics – with the specific aim to support the broad social justice movement in the United States and around the world. And it shows no sign of letting up anytime soon.
Along with publishing Clamor, the group organizes several other projects intended to support independent media, including the infoSHOP online store offering independent art and media and the innovative InfoSHOPdirect program. Both projects help increase the availability of independent (and radical) art and media – particularly for those of us that find it harder to come by in our local communities. Through the InfoSHOPdirect program, Clamor helps independent and grassroots media producers bypass large corporations like PayPal by providing them with an efficient system for processing online orders.
In 2000, Clamor won “Best New Title” in the Independent Press Awards and has been nominated for “Best Social/Cultural Coverage” every year since. In 2002, Jen and Jason were profiled as two of “30 Under 30” Visionaries who are changing the world. To date, however, Clamor is still an unknown entity to national media outlets like NPR and the New York Times — suckers.