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Slate: We don't pay interns, but we will accept their baked goods.

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by sgreenwell, May 28, 2011.

  1. goalmouth

    goalmouth Well-Known Member

    Can someone explain this from Dept. of Labor? What, then, is the intern supposed to do? Chase butterflies?

    "The employer that provides the training derives no immediate advantage from the activities of the intern; and on occasion its operations may actually be impeded"
  2. PCLoadLetter

    PCLoadLetter Well-Known Member

    It fits at my shop. Like I said, an intern may write stories in my newscast, but it's taking away time I would be spending doing my job, and it would be easier for me to write the stories myself. So, the intern is learning, but I'm not gaining any advantage, and my normal work is impeded.

    One other thing to toss into this...

    From a purely practical standpoint, remember that requiring that internships will be paid is effectively the same as eliminating 90% of internships -- and that's probably a conservative estimate. My internship was 9 months, probably close to 25-30 hours a week, for a grand total of 3 credits. The day it ended I was hired for my first job in the business. There is no way in hell that station would ever pay an intern. That internship was the only thing in my college career that even remotely prepared me to work in the business. Without it I would have been screwed.
  3. dirtybird

    dirtybird Well-Known Member

    Mr. LoadLetter

    In all fairness, interning for tv and print are different beasts. From my own experience, TV was a lot more about learning/guidance/whatever. Print... well, the philosophy seemed more geared to learning by doing than any sort of instruction/feedback (and for that trouble I was paid a pittance).
  4. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    It's unfortunate that you don't give a crap about sticking up for yourself, but that's your problem. Where it becomes a lot of other people's problem is when they lose jobs for having the temerity to actually demand to be paid for working, the selfish bastards, and you get to stay on for being willing to sell yourself short because you're just happy to be there.
  5. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    I don't understand how so many people whose default position is to support "diversity" measures and champion the causes of the poor can abandon these beliefs when it suits their needs.

    So, unpaid internships have worked out great for you? Great! I guess that means there's no issue here.

    And, there might be unintended consequences to ending them? No kidding.
  6. YankeeFan

    YankeeFan Well-Known Member

    Hear, hear.

    What you're endorsing is about 1/2 a step above being a scab.

    Outwork someone? Sure.

    Work for free to take their job away? No good.

    Agree to work for below the market rate? Nope.
  7. Look, I realize I'm not going to make many friends on here by telling you how I went about getting my job. But it worked. Can you blame a young journalist for doing what he thought he had to do to get a job in this economy? Because at the end of the day, I'm not going to lose any sleep over how I did it when nothing I did was unethical (even if it was a little naive or stupid).

    I was dealt a hand by the economy, the reality of the industry and the circumstances in play for me, and I played it.
  8. I worked for free as an intern. I'm in a full-time paid position now. So the notion that I'm working for free and taking someone's job away is laughable, at best. My work as an intern didn't take anyone's job away. In fact, I'm positive the people I worked with at that internship would universally agree I made their lives easier.
  9. deskslave

    deskslave Active Member

    We weren't referencing your internship -- at least I wasn't. We were referencing your work 80, get paid for 40 mentality.
  10. Fair enough. I'm glad you used the word mentality. That's all it is right now, since I don't actually have to work 80-hour work weeks at my current job. That said, I'd do it if I had to in order to keep my job.
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