Policies & Standards


About The Walrus

The Walrus was founded in 2003. As a registered charity, we publish independent, fact-based journalism; we produce national, ideas-focused events, including our flagship series The Walrus Talks; and we train emerging professionals in publishing and non-profit management. The Walrus is invested in the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens.

The Walrus publishes content nearly every day at thewalrus.ca and ten times per year in print. Our editorial priorities include politics and world affairs, health and science, society, the environment, law and justice, Indigenous issues, business and economics, the arts (including music, dance, film and television, literature, fiction, and poetry), and Canada’s place in the world.

Based in Toronto, The Walrus currently has a full-time editorial staff of fifteen, and we work with writers and artists across Canada and the world. Our masthead can be found here.

The Walrus is Independent

The Walrus is a charity (No. 861851624-RR0001) and has no corporate owners. We are accountable only to you—our audience.

The Walrus is overseen by a board of directors with the support of a national advisory committee, and an education review committee. These invaluable volunteers provide organizational leadership without direct influence over the journalism or other content produced by The Walrus.

Our revenue comes from multiple sources, including circulation, advertising, sponsorships, donations, government grants, and earned revenue from events and The Walrus Lab.

Our role is to provoke new thinking and spark conversation on matters vital to Canadians—because The Walrus is invested in the idea that a healthy society relies on informed citizens.

Funding and Grants

The Walrus receives funding from external organizations for certain projects. For example, the Slaight Family Foundation funds the Allan Slaight Writer’s Fund. Funding organizations do not have any direct influence over editorial content.

The Walrus, like other Canadian publications, receives financial support from the Canada Periodical Fund of the Department of Canadian Heritage. A description of this funding is available here.

More than 2,000 donors and sponsors supported The Walrus in 2018.

Ethics Policy

The Walrus is committed to reporting that is fair, accurate, complete, transparent, and independent.

Fact-Checking Standards
Stories that appear in The Walrus are fact-checked. Our fact checkers verify everything from broad claims made by authors to small details, such as dates and the spelling of names. Fact-checking records at The Walrus are archived in storage once a story is published.

The Walrus counts on its writers to make independent evaluations of difficult topics. The best journalism—no matter how descriptive, opinion driven, or narrative driven—is based on facts, and those facts should be clearly presented in the story. The Walrus is committed to ensuring the validity of arguments and finding balance between various perspectives on any given issue, while keeping in mind the reliability and motivations of individual sources.

Corrections

As soon as The Walrus is made aware of an error, fact-checkers will review the statement in question. Any needed corrections will be noted online at the bottom of the article and, if the error originally appeared in print, in the next print issue. The correction will reference the original error and supply the correct information and the date.
If you notice an error in something published by The Walrus, please send us a message at web@thewalrus.ca with the subject line “Correction.”

Veiled Sources

The Walrus allows the use of pseudonyms in published journalism only in the case of a clear and pressing need for anonymity, such as the legitimate concern for the safety of sources, or where personal privacy must be protected for serious reasons. The decision to use a veiled source is made solely at the discretion of the editors of The Walrus.

Editorial Independence

Journalism at The Walrus is produced independently of commercial or political interests. The editorial staff and writers do not accept gifts in order to avoid any conflict of interest or appearance thereof. When a writer relies on an organization for travel or access to an event or product, we are transparent about the relationship and note it within the relevant work. We also cite potential conflicts of interest—and, where applicable, credit funding sources—on the same page as the relevant work.

Contributors are contractually obligated to disclose practices that may deviate from the ethics policy of The Walrus to our editorial team.

Editorial Standards

The Walrus maintains a style guide and an ethics policy, both of which are regularly reviewed and updated to reflect current conversations about culture and terminology.
For any situation not covered by this policy, we refer to the Ethics Guidelines of the Canadian Association of Journalists.

Feedback

The Walrus invites feedback from the public on the values, issues, and ideas covered in our journalism. Audience feedback may help The Walrus develop an individual story or line of coverage, answer questions that a story may raise, identify related or under-covered issues, and learn about new sources, experts, and perspectives. If you have any questions, ideas, or comments, you can reach us at web@thewalrus.ca. This address is monitored by the digital staff, and emails are forwarded to the appropriate departments.

Diversity Statement

Inclusiveness is at the heart of thinking and acting as journalists—and supports the educational mandate of The Walrus. Race, class, generation, gender, sexual orientation, ability, and geography all affect point of view. The Walrus believes that reflecting societal differences in reporting leads to better, more nuanced stories and a better-informed community.

The Walrus is committed to employment equity and diversity.

The Walrus sends out a yearly voluntary survey to full-time employees in order to compile statistics about employment equity. To protect individual privacy, we do not publicly disclose the results of this survey.