History

Buzzsaw is an independent magazine written, produced, and distributed by Ithaca College students. There are six issues printed a year – three each semester – and an online edition. Grants from the Ithaca College Student Government Association and Generation Progress help us fund our magazine. Additional resources are provided by the Roy H. Park School of Communications. Our adviser is Jeff Cohen, founding director of the Park Center for Independent Media at Ithaca College and associate professor of the journalism department of the Park School of Communication.

Buzzsaw is a progressive publication and our goal is to publish original creative journalism, commentary and satire that works to deconstruct society, pop culture, politics, college life and dominant Western beliefs.

In early 1999 a group of like-minded friends – Abby Bertumen, Kelly Burdick, Bryan Chambala, Sam Costello, Thom Denick, Cole Louison, and James Sigman – decided to publish a paper that expressed alternative ideas, viewpoints and cultures of college students nationally. The paper was aptly named Buzzsaw Haircut, which was taken from a Mojo Nixon song.

Spring 2002 saw the second coming of Buzzsaw Haircut, with editors Jen Chamberlain, Matt Hourihan, Dan Greenman and Owen Perry. In the spring of 2003, Buzzsaw claimed the prize for “Best Sense of Humor” in the Campus Alternative Journalism Project’s student publication contest.

In the fall of 2003, the magazine was passed on again, under editors Matt Corley, Kiley Edgley, Emily Gallagher, Jeremy Levine, Zachary Loeb, Dave Moore, Kate Sheppard and Adam Trabka. Under their capable leadership, Buzzsaw won two Campus Independent Journalism Awards, including Best Independent Campus Publication of the Year with a Budget under $10,000 in 2005 and “Best Campus Publication” from Campus Progress in 2006. The advisor of the magazine during this time was associate journalism professor John Hochheimer.

In the fall of 2006 Buzzsaw Haircut began a series of a drastic changes that began with the selection of a completely new editorial staff and advisor and ending with a redesign and rechristening of the magazine. The new Buzzsaw editorial board consisted of Emily McNeill, Matthew Farrell, Karin Fleming, Andrew Frisicano, Harrison Flatau, Josh Elmer, Nimrat Brar, CJ Knowles and added new advisor Mary Beth O’Connor, assistant professor of the writing department of the School of Humanities and Sciences. Under their leadership the new editors established a consistent publication schedule of six issues per year and attempted to reaffirm the magazine as an edgy, alternative producer of journalism at Ithaca College.

With a few rearrangements in the editorial staff, adding Mike Berlin, Heather Newberger, Jennifer Konerman, Alexis Randall and Jenna Scatena and losing CJ Knowles, Nimrat Brar and Andrew Frisicano, Buzzsaw continued to evolve. Two new sections of the magazine were added – “Prose and Cons,” a short fiction section edited by Jake Forney and Buzzsaw TV, an online video component of Buzzsaw edited by Matt Farrell. In spring of 2007 Buzzsaw left “Haircut” behind, and the editors worked to redesign the magazine. The goal was to replace the gritty look with a clean style while retaining the sharp edgy humor and analysis.

During the 2008-2009 school year, the editorial staff consisted of Karin Fleming, Jenna Scatena, Carly Willsie, Jake Forney, Harrison Flatau, Josh Elmer, Jennifer Konerman, Bryan Cipolla and Drea Kasianchuk and new advisor Jeff Cohen. Under this staff, Buzzsaw celebrated its tenth anniversary and released a massive commemorative issue in May of 2009.

2009 saw another large overhaul in the editorial staff, as Jacquie Simone, Adam Polaski, Julissa Treviño, Jocelyn Codner, Chris Giblin and Lucy Ravich stepped in to replace the graduated Fleming, Scatena and Flatau. And in 2010, Alyssa Figueroa, Anika Steppe, Daniel Sitts, David Lurvey, Carly Sitzer and Emily Miles stepped into editorial positions. This year, we hope to continue the upward momentum that Buzzsaw has experienced in the past ten years by consistently producing well-designed, well-researched, interesting and cutting-edge journalism, satire and creative fiction. With our updated Web site and burgeoning online presence, we hope to bring the edge and stick-it-to-the-man quality that’s kept Buzzsaw relevant for so long to the Internet.

In 2011, we added a new multimedia section to Buzzsaw, titled Seesaw. This section of Buzzsaw is dedicated to created documentaries, radio pieces, interactive graphics, and other multimedia pieces to complement articles and the magazine. Andrew Rivard joined the editorial board as editor and founder of Seesaw. In 2012, Kayla Reopelle and Rachael Lewis-Krisky came on board to replace Andrew.

In 2011 and 2012, we saw a lot of changes on our editorial board, Danielle West, Kacey Deamer, Catherine Fisher, Meagan McGinnes, Mariana Garces, Jenni Zellner and Gena Mangiaratti came onboard. And in 2013, David Andersen, Chelsea Hartman, Karen Muller, Kaley Belval, Evan Spitzer, Timothy Bidon, and Kanoa Ishihara joined as editors.

During the spring of 2014 Taylor Barker joined the editorial staff and in the fall of 2014 Kellen Beck, Jessica Corbett, Katelyn Harrop, Jennifer Jordan, John Jacobson, Lizzie Cox, David Owens and Lexie Farabough joined the staff.

Our Press closed during the summer of 2014, and Buzzsaw magazine started using Vanguard Printing in October 2014.

Buzzsaw likes to think it has a distinctive style that is “strictly Buzzsaw.” If you read through the the archives and articles on this site, hopefully you’ll get the idea of what being “Buzzsaw” is and why we are doing it. But as the editors have changed over time, Buzzsaw has, too. This magazine is an ever-evolving entity – a process rather than a product, you could say. If you want to know more about Buzzsaw, please e-mail us at buzzsawmag@gmail.com. We are always in search of story ideas, writers, photographers, graphic designers, lay-out staff, copy editors, malcontents and ne’re-do-wells. Criticism and suggestion are also always welcome.