Among the many things that The Walrus magazine is noted for is promotion of itself and its events, a critical skill for a magazine that needs to raise considerable money every year to keep publishing. That is why it was no surprise to see big feature coverage in both the Globe and Mail and the Toronto Star concerning the magazine's partnership in producing high-definition documentaries and today's launch of Walrus TV.
Publisher Shelley Ambrose was quoted in James Adams's story in the Globe saying that the deal between The Walrus Foundation and eqhd (owned by High Fidelity HDTV) was a "natural pairing".
Fourteen documentaries, ranging from eight to 15 minutes have already been shot, based on published Walrus stories and are now screening on the Walrus site as well as eqhd, High Fidelity's 24-hour digital channel. There are also taped interviews with Walrus writers. More short films are to come, which will first be shown on eqhd and then, five or six weeks later, on the Walrus site. The Walrus intends to sell advertising spots adjacent to the documentaries.
The plan is for eq to create one documentary from an article in each of the magazine's 10 yearly issues.High Fidelity also intends to shoot some of the special debates and events that The Walrus hosts.
Among the documentaries now available are
- Life After Death –based on the cover story in the September 2011 issue of The Walrus about thirty years of AIDS
- Mosque Makeovers –based on an article from the April 2011 issue of The Walrus
- Portraits of the War –based on Joanne Tod’s portraits of Canada’s fallen soldiers from the July/August 2011 issue of The Walrus
- The Meaning of Hockey –based on Stephen Marche’s essay in the November 2011 issue of The Walrus
- Canadian diplomat Robert Fowler’s first-hand account, from the December 2011 issue, of the harrowing time he spent in the desert after being kidnapped by Al Qaeda.
- Plus poetry readings from Damian Rogers, Paul Vermeersch, Linda Besner, Jacob McArthur Mooney, and Jeff Latosik.
- Torstar buys a piece of Blue Ant, which bought a piece of Quarto, and so on...
- Publishers of Cottage Life sell a share to television and digital startup Blue Ant Media