The U.S. labour Department told the New York Times on Friday that they are cracking down on unpaid internships.
Now one magazine is doing the same thing. The Atlantic is now paying its interns.
Jeff Bercovici at DailyFinance broke the news and posted this statement from The Atlantic:
Yesterday, we decided to pay, retroactively, both last year’s interns and our current class. We convened our current interns this morning to tell them the news. Some messages are easier to deliver than others. Telling them they would be paid was on the easier side. Read more at DailyFinance >
Soon other media companies may have to follow their lead.
Although some companies offer paid and unpaid internships, an informal poll around the office proved most of us and our colleagues did real work at companies like CBS, NBC, CNET, Forbes and other media companies without ever seeing a cent. A paycheck would have been nice, but we worked for an opportunity to write articles, conduct research and assist reporters at major media companies.
According to the labour laws, anything beyond fetching coffee and sending a few faxes might have given the companes an “immediate advantage,” and, therefore, been illegal.
“If you’re a for-profit employer or you want to pursue an internship with a for-profit employer, there aren’t going to be many circumstances where you can have an internship and not be paid and still be in compliance with the law,” Nancy J. Leppnik, the labour Department’s acting director of the wage and hour division, told the Times.
Note the Department of labour: The Business Insider pays all of its interns.
But can the rest of the media world afford to?
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