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Type Weekly newspaper
Format Tabloid
Owner(s) Union of Clare Students
Founded 1996
Political alignment None
Headquarters Clare College, Cambridge

Clareification is the weekly student newsletter of Clare College, a college of the University of Cambridge. One of the things that distinguish Clare as a particularly friendly and informal college is the fellows' tolerance of the publication, even after the 2007 Muhammad cartoons controversy. Every week in term, Cambridge traditions are mocked, events of the weeks are satirised and silly student antics are reported on. The newsletter also chronicles college gossip in a column written by the Gossip Queen entitled Clareifornication.

Clareification evolved gradually in the mid-late 1990s as a newsletter of the Union of Clare Students. Named as a pun on the college's name, it was padded out with comedy articles, gradually turning into a weekly 8-page comedy paper with only the occasional piece of real news. Spoof formattings of real-life newspapers and magazines are common. It is widely read by Clare students, but academic opinion of it is sharply divided.[citation needed]

In 2005, it won the 'Best College Paper' award in The Cambridge Student.


In 2007, in a guest-edited edition devoted to religious satire, entitled Crucification, the magazine re-printed one of the Danish Muhammad cartoons which provoked an international incident when they were originally published 15 months earlier.

The guest editor was taken into hiding due to the threat of violent reprisals [1]. The college's senior tutor, Dr Patricia Fara, issued a statement saying, "The college finds the publication and the views expressed abhorrent." The college called a Court of Discipline to judge the student and suspended the newsletter's funding. The Cambridge Evening News described the issue as "racist" [2], in an article in which an "insider" suggested that the magazine might constitute "racial incitement". Two students were subsequently interviewed under caution by police in connection with the issue. [3]

Following the incident, the Union of Clare Students published independently two further issues, predominantly devoted to satirising the coverage of the controversy. These issues were edited by the Union of Clare Students Executive.

In 2016, a rival "Clareifuckation" was distributed...the drama continued as the Clareification editors received threatening mail and scornful gasps filled the College.


Past Editors of Clareification have been:

Term of Office Editor(s)
1997-8 Bruce Greenwood
1998-9 Peter Morley
1999–2000 Tim Moore
2000-1 Matt Kirshen
2001-2 James Bench-Capon
2002-3 Jozef Tarrant
2003-4 Zoë Morgan
2004-5 Seth Alexander Thévoz
2005-6 Ben Lambert
2006-7 Jonathan Birch
2007-8 Luke Surl
2008-9 Matt Cliffe
2009-10 Andrew Pinnington
2010-11 Ahir Shah and Alastair Lewis
2011-12 Tom Breeze and Magnus Maharg
2012-13 Alex Walmsley and Joe Goddard
2013-14 Matt Hempstead
2014-15 Euan Holmes, Morven Macaulay and Lizzie Walsh
2015-16 Bradley Lindsay, James Johnston and Matt Wood (ft. Elliot Pulver)
2016-17 Kate Chapman, Ellie Jackson and Tommy Gale

External links[edit]

A summary of the controversial issue and the ensuing controversy on Harrys Place blog.

The offending pages on Pub Philosopher blog.

Critical analysis of the controversy in The Berry, Spiked Online, New Statesman, The Observer and Guardian Unlimited.

Home page [4]