Interns should be paid!

By Christopher B. Daly 

The unpaid internship is a social evil. If a business is willing to have someone in the workplace and let them anywhere near work, then they should pay. As we know, most interns contribute something (and often quite a bit) to the places where they work, so it’s only fair to compensate them.

Let’s face facts: an internship is a temporary job with no security and no benefits. Most interns do not stay very long, and most places that use interns only use a handful. The total compensation of all interns cannot represent a lot of money to any business, including the news media. Employers exploit interns for a very simple reason: because they can!

Or, they used to be able to. Now, there are stirrings in NYC, the nation’s media capital. The state AG is cracking down on unpaid labor. Most recently, NYC mayor Bill de Blasio has signed an ordinance giving interns the right to sue employers if they are harassed or discriminated against.

Interns, arise!



Filed under Journalism

3 responses to “Interns should be paid!

  1. Aspiring I-Banker

    Hi Christopher,

    Great post, I’m currently doing an unpaid 2-month internship. The only way I look at it is that I’m gaining great experience and a valuable name on my CV.

    Hopefully the long-term value of this internship outweighs the costs that will arise over the 2 months – which is just over £1,000.


    • profdaly

      To quote from the 13th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (adopted 1865):
      “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude . . . shall exist within the United States, or any place subject to their jurisdiction.”


  2. David

    Interns are routinely not only exploited financially, but demeaned, sexually harassed and coerced to do mostly personal work for high executives.

    The internship process is further corrupted by the enormous percentage of interns hired solely because of their connections, especially in glamorous industries.


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