We told you yesterday how the Feds were going to start pressing charges against companies who implemented unpaid college internship programs as a means of slave labor. Well, today (shockingly) the first company to come out publicly is none other than one from the publishing community (typically the worst offenders of all).
Atlantic Media (home of both the The Atlantic and The Journal) has announced plans to not only pay their CURRENT interns but to also past interns as well.
“Thinking about the internship program through the lens of Saturday’s New York Times story, we found ourselves revisiting the concept,” notes a company spokesperson. “We had thought this was the way to structure unpaid internships but if it sits near a grey zone, it’s not for us. Yesterday, we decided to pay, retroactively, both last year’s interns and our current class. We convened our current interns this morning to tell them the news. Some messages are easier to deliver than others. Telling them they would be paid was on the easier side.”
While Atlantic is pretty much the exception in the media and publishing world, it does our heart good to know that future interns won’t suffer the same indignities we had to endure back in the day (endless filing, transcriptions, and one horrifying incident in which a senior editor whipped out a boob and decided to breast feed her baby right in the middle of an edit meeting).