Lost internships hurt journalism


As summer rolls around each year, aspiring college level journalists compete for internship opportunities at all different prestigious companies to “get their foot in the door” for their future career.

These students go through rigorous interview screenings and have to compete with an ample amount of peers for coveted opportunities so they can some day “make-it” in journalism.

A major powerhouse in the journalism field is the major company Condé Nast.

Condé Nast is the company behind some of the most glamorous and high-end magazines and digital platforms in today’s modern journalism industry.

Some of the best journalists in the industry dominate Condé Nast and have become known throughout the world. Anna Wintour, the editor-in-chief of Vogue, and Graydon Carter, the editor-in-chief of Vanity Fair, are just some of the many examples of amazing Condé Nast editors.

Fortunately, I was very honored to be one of the approximately 260 Condé Nast interns last summer. I made it through a Skype interview and numerous e-mail conversations until I finally took the position to work under the fashion editor, fashion assistant, and stylist at Condé Nast Traveler.

Besides the two-hour commute into the journalism hub of New York City in my “Condé” appropriate up-to-par outfit and running around the city in heels only someone in the office would understand, I really benefited from this internship.

I went to amazing seminars, learned what it is like to be an editor, had great opportunities to network and learned the details about the company itself.

As an intern, I can honestly say it is a true shame that it is official in 2014 that the Condé Nast internship program will be shut down.

According to WWD, an intern, Lauren Ballinger, who interned for W in 2009 and another intern, Matthew Leib, who worked for The New Yorker in 2009 and 2010 have filed a lawsuits against Condé Nast for “being paid below the minimum wage during internships.”

What I do not understand is why Leib would intern for the company two summers in a row if the rules about getting paid did not change and he was unhappy enough to sue.

I am curious to know if these two interns allowed their names to be released in the press because I would believe this would taint their reputation if they are trying to pursue a career in this industry.

Competitive companies like Hearst and Fox Searchlight Pictures were also sued by interns for a similar reason.

I am truly in shock that a student who had the same amazing opportunities I had at Condé Nast would complain about not getting paid when they were honored with such an amazing “foot in the door.”

These two interns jeopardized many future internships for students who could have learned and benefited from Condé Nast.

I am curious to find out how this lack of an internship program will affect the hiring process of this generation and future generation of interns. I wonder if the students who were too young to intern before the program shut down are at a disadvantage at some day getting a job at Condé Nast.

Hopefully, they will start this program up again with repercussions to protect the company against lawsuits with paid internships. I hope future interns can have the amazing experience I was “lucky” enough to have had at Condé Nast.

For more information visit: http://www.wwd.com/media-news/fashion-memopad/internships-ending-7242603?src=nl/mornReport/20131023

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