Today I cancelled my subscription to The Walrus. It was a great magazine for the first few years, as shown by the large number of awards they earned. I even helped run their website when they started out (though they’ve long since moved on to another company), which is how I first heard of them. But when Ken Alexander quit as editor, because the board wouldn’t let him run the show as he pleased, I was worried the tone would change, and it did. There were still a few good articles published last fall after his resignation in the summer, perhaps those which Alexander had contracted before leaving, but throughout the winter it frankly sucked. The writing was poor (have they cut their famous payrate of $2.50 a word?) and lacked focus or relevance. The few times they chose a topical subject, the tone seemed vapid and I came away having learned nothing. I really wanted them to succeed, so I decided I’d wait until I’d seen three issues without a single article which seemed interesting or well-written to me. Then I read the May issue, and that was it. Oh, well. Alexander had a good five year run. Perhaps not co-incidentally, that’s how long their startup funding (from two charitable foundations) lasted.
Any other suggestions for a general interest Canadian magazine? Maisonneuve was good for the first year or so, which I’m guessing is when they lost their own startup grant. I’m thinking of reading either Geist or This Magazine. Anyone here read either of those?