Cashback for Interns - the struggle continues
The NUJ'S Cashback for Interns campaign, spearheaded by London Freelance Branch, continues to gather strength. Current or former interns with yet more jaw-dropping accounts of exploitation are contacting the campaign via email@example.com at the rate of one every few days, and requests for media interviews are almost as frequent. We hope to run a detailed progress report on the campaign, and its efforts to get interns the National Minimum Wage legally owed to them, in the Freelance shortly.
Meanwhile, Lottie Young, a student at City University, has revealed that the BBC responded to her enquiry by stating that "in 2007 BBC News took on 127 unpaid interns, and by 2010 that had increased to 266, with 347 placements taken up in 2009." The BBC has justified the increase by citing its "education policy".
And the Daily Mail reported on a recent auction at a Conservative Party fundraising party of internships of a few weeks's duration at hedge funds. These were on offer starting at £2000 a throw. (For the avoidance of doubt, that's the fee expected to be paid by or on behalf of the intern for permission to work.) According to the Mail, the organisers apparently went to extraordinary lengths to try to conceal said auction from the media. Watch this space.