In response to a New York Times story The Unpaid Intern, Legal or Not, the publisher of The Atlantic, National Journal, and Government Executive magazines and related Web editions has decided to offer only paid internships in the future, and to pay last year’s interns retroactively, according to at statement at AOL’s DailyFinance.com (linked to by Romenesco).
Atlantic, which has a deadline this Friday for its July-December intern openings, said it felt it already had an appropriately educational plan: Interns work side by side with editorial and business staff, and there are lectures, case studies, homework and exercises. However, the company explained the change to Daily Finance’s Jeff Bercovici:
Thinking about the internship program through the lens of Saturday’s New York Times story, we found ourselves revisiting the concept. We had thought this was the way to structure unpaid internships but if it sits near a grey zone, it’s not for us.
The Internships link on Atlantic Media‘s own site, didn’t have a statement of the new internship policy today, presumably because the details are still being worked out. The ad for July-December and January-June editorial internship sessions doesn’t mention compensation. (A separate media research internship ad still uses the word “unpaid.”)
The Times story hadn’t mentioned Atlantic Media — or any newspaper internships — in its discussion of state and federal investigations not-very-educational unpaid internships, but did highlight an unnamed magazine with echoes of “The Devil Wears Prada”:
One Ivy League student said she spent an unpaid three-month internship at a magazine packaging and shipping 20 or 40 apparel samples a day back to fashion houses that had provided them for photo shoots.
Dow Jones is canceling the ‘newspaper’ in the name of its venerable journalism education programs, now called the Dow Jones News Fund. Picky editors will notice that the name change hasn’t percolated down through all references in the organization’s Web pages. The good news is that the DJNF internship and grant programs are still there.
THE NEWS FUND was created in 1958 by then-Dow Jones & Co. chairman Bernard Kilgore to encourage young people to consider careers in journalism. The Dow Jones Foundation continues to provide the primary support for the Newspaper Fund, along with contributions from other newspapers and newspaper companies nationwide.
Those “Journalist’s Road to Success” pages are still a good bookmark for journalism students, newspaper-focused or not.