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Introducing Shameless Wire!

October 23rd, 2009     by Cate Simpson     Comments

We are working on an exciting new project, and we need your help. Some of you may remember the Shameless teen editorial collective, a group of young women who advised the magazine in its first few years. The editorial collective has been dormant recently, but we hope to bring back youth involvement in a big way this January, in the form of Shameless Wire - a journalism training program for teen girls.

What is Shameless Wire? We will recruit a diverse group of at least 10 high school-aged teens from across the Toronto area and introduce them to pitching, researching and writing articles. Participants will have the chance to write, report, edit, and meet other women journalists in eight workshops held over four months. The program will be free to participants, and we want to provide transit tokens and lunch for each workshop, to make Shameless Wire accessible to girls who might not otherwise be able to join this sort of program.

Why is this project important? Last year, while working with new writers at a university student paper, Allison - now one of the Shameless Wire directors - noticed a gender divide. She found that right out of high school, women fall behind their male colleagues in the newsroom. Men arrive at student papers full of confidence, ready to pitch and take assignments, while women hang back, feeling that they need more training, experience, and time before they can start publishing.

While there is no shortage of young female writers in the industry, there are systemic barriers to them entering positions of power in editorial, which means that they often cannot decide what stories are covered. This problem, it seems, are not disappearing over time. Routes into journalism are difficult - most of us can’t get published or network until we’ve done at least one unpaid internship, and for many talented young women, that’s just an impossibility. Once it’s time to hire junior reporters and editors, the applicant pool has already narrowed far too much. If we want to change the face of journalism, we need to start with youth.

Why do we need your help? As a grassroots, volunteer run magazine, we can’t do this alone. Please consider helping us get Shameless Wire off the ground by making a donation of any size. We need a small starting budget to provide food and tokens for 10 students, and to cover teaching essentials like photocopying. A contribution of just $36 would cover one participant’s travel to and from every workshop. A donation of $100 would let us provide one modest lunch for all of our participants and speakers. Another $500 would allow us to expand the program from 10 young women to 15.

The easiest way to donate is through PayPal:

Or, you can send a cheque with “Wire” on the memo line, payable to Shameless magazine, to: Shameless Magazine, P.O. Box 68548, 360A Bloor St. W., Toronto, Ontario, M5S 1X1.

If you have any questions or comments about this exciting new project, please get in touch with us at

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