Considering an internship at The New Yorker
? Then you’re out of luck. The publisher behind those magazines, Condé Nast, won’t be hiring interns anymore.
Condé Nast’s difficulties with interns began back in June, when two former interns sued the company
over what they still claim was unfair pay. At the time, Condé Nast was paying a stipend that amounted to about $12 per day.
In August, the publisher quietly stopped paying interns
at all. Now, with the lawsuit still pending, Condé Nast has decided to do away with internships entirely next year, Women’s Wear Daily
The publisher has said little about the decision. It declined to comment to Women’s Wear Dail
y, which it owns, and a spokeswoman would tell The New York Times
only that no current interns would be affected.
Rachel Bien, the attorney representing the two interns suing Condé Nast, did speak to The Guardian
. She said the company’s decision to drop its internship program is a prudent one.
"We've focused on cases where we've seen interns doing real work and not having training or educational experience, and on companies that we feel are most outside of the law,” she said.
Condé Nast isn’t the only company that had intern troubles over the summer. Two interns that worked on the film “Black Swan” won a lawsuit against Fox Searchlight Pictures. They claimed they weren’t paid enough.
Magazine and newspaper publisher Hearst has been dealing with litigation over intern pay even longer. A judge threw out a February 2012 lawsuit filed by a former intern, but it’s being reconsidered on appeal.
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The comments on the Women’s Wear Daily story continue an interesting debate over whether internships should be considered entry-level jobs or educational experiences.
One exchange sums it up fairly well. One commenter says unpaid internships are great steppingstones to other jobs and that people should stop complaining about not being able to afford to work without pay. Another commenter’s rebuttal: “Stop counting other people’s money.”