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What’s independent journalism? If the first thing that comes to mind is: “Is that even a thing?” I won’t blame you. But in the truest sense, independent journalism exists and it means relaying information to the public that’s fact-checked, does not have government interference, and journalism that isn’t owned by anyone, and where the voices aren’t shushed. That’s what ‘The Walrus’ is all about since September 2003 when it released its first issue. The Walrus is a Canadian publication. It’s a literary magazine, which not only covers current affairs, politics, entertainment, arts, and culture but also essays, fiction, and poetries. The company currently publishes 8 issues per year. They also have a podcast series called ‘The Conversation Piece’ where they touch on conversations that matter. Conversations that should take place but people just walk past due to the discomfort of taking accountability. ‘The Conversation Piece’ covers topics like feminism, climate change, LGBT rights and all those topics that are sometimes “not worth the attention” in a gossip-hungry world. The Walrus works in association with the AMI (Accessible Media Inc.) where they bring their features, essays, poetries to life as audio stories read by professional voices in Canada in the podcast called ‘Voices of The Walrus. In July 2022, they released ‘Teen Walrus - Young People on What Matters Now’ in their July 2022 newsletter. Teen Walrus is a digital series for teens to talk about issues they find relevant to them and their lives. Not a lot of magazines give teens an independent space for their voices to be heard on serious topics. That was one of the many things that stood out to me. Of course, like any other business entering a brand new market, it had its downfalls and released a few questionable articles that didn’t stand out to the public. However, they managed to pick up their pace and soon became one of the leading literary magazines in Canada that every new graduate wanted to get in. Except, a series of controversies followed them almost a decade after their foundation. In 2014, the Ontario Ministry of Labour cracked down the unpaid internship programs at Toronto Life and The Walrus. The reason being, the publications did not meet the criteria to run such programs. The Walrus was forced to then shut down the programs and released a public statement saying, “The Ministry of Labour employment standards act inspector has said our four-to-six-month unpaid internships can no longer be offered unless the interns have a formal agreement for a work experience with a vocational school.” The publication now offers only fellowships and contract roles. Speaking of positions at The Walrus, this year they are offering three positions including Development Research Officer which is a full-time position, a Features Editor that is a one-year contract, and a one-year editorial fellowship. The publication was starting to settle in on the new change when another wave hit them. It was in 2015 when Canadaland published an article titled “Meltdown at The Walrus”. A dispute between a freelance writer and a former managing editor, Jon Kay who was terminated a few months before the news broke out sparked public interest in this conflict. Following the news, many freelancers and people who were internally or externally associated with The Walrus spoke and the chaotic inner workings of the publication surfaced. Shelly Ambrose, publisher at The Walrus agreed saying that “we are in a bit of a melt down”. Many revealed that the former managing editor, Kyle Wyatt whose actions gave rise to the issue was extremely abusive and bullied fellows, interns, and freelancers. Currently, the company that holds 50 employees and maximum freelance writers is still striving for a hospitable work culture. The Walrus is still aiming for the perfection and unity that reflects in their issues but not within the company yet. To much of an extent, employees have been openly speaking about the management that could use some better professionals to be put in charge. Work-life balance is also one of the concerns that the fellows and employees have raised. However, after having worked in agencies for two years and experiencing the agency life first-hand, I believe that every agency/company has their ups and downs. Speaking of which, The Walrus hasn’t made the news since their ‘Kyle Wyatt’ controversy and I take it as an indication that it’s been doing a little better than it was about 7 years ago. Although it’ll be my first time working with a publication – since a publication is what I’m aiming for – I think the primary working conditions are almost the same. The only challenge that I foresee is the change of roles and responsibilities if I take up an editorial position in an organization like The Walrus that’s so different from what I’ve done before. I’ve always taken up roles in writing and that’s been a constant love for me. However, while researching about The Walrus, I realized that I wish to pursue the editorial fellowship in the name of exploring the wide array in the working of publications.