Mar 10, 2014

Asking interns to pay for the privilege: charitable offer, or a bit rich?

Reuters has auctioned off Sydney internships, with bids starting at $750. The practice is commonplace overseas, but freelance journalist Royce Kurmelovs asks: is it legal here?

The Reuters Foundation has auctioned off work experience placements at its prestigious Sydney office, making it the first news organisation recorded to have done so in Australia. An advertisement in the 2014 ASX-Thomson Reuters Charity Foundation catalogue describes the opportunity as “invaluable” for anyone considering a career in journalism, and sets the opening bid at $750:

“Work experience will give your son or daughter an insight into how the news is sourced, edited, verified and filed through state-of-the-art on-line systems.”

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9 thoughts on “Asking interns to pay for the privilege: charitable offer, or a bit rich?

  1. Suziekue

    Ha! pay to be an intern slave.

  2. paddy

    I must admit I’d never heard of this before.
    (Pretty jaw dropping stuff!)
    I guess it’s the ultimate endgame for a bankrupt media industry.

    Then again, perhaps it might explain Fairfax’s decision to continue publishing Jessica Rudd’s thought bubbles?

  3. CML

    The inequity of all this is mind-boggling! I knew it went on in America and the UK, but this is the first I’ve heard of it in Australia.
    I do hope Prof. Stewart is correct. If not, where are the ALP and the unions on unpaid ‘internships’? Slavery, more likely!

  4. AR

    Perhaps if they charge enough interns Fairfax might be able to pay a journo. or three and produce a newspaper, rather than the lifestyle throwaway the SMH now resembles. Or IS!

  5. Gavin Moodie

    In the really old days parents paid for their children to be taken on as apprentices.

  6. MJPC

    Ah, capitalism never ceases to amaze. $750 to get the coffee’s, do the filing and photocopying; cheaper than getting in ‘temps’, or 457 visa holders.

  7. Stevo the Working Twistie

    US$85k to work with a man who could afford to give that much to charity twice a day and not notice it missing? I’ve had enough of this alternate universe. Can we have the real one back?

  8. berkeleyboy

    Finally, the solid part of the stench that remains of “mainstream” media.

  9. Matthew Ng

    We’re trying to fix this! See or

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