Thursday, January 10, 2013

USAT | It's also only for well-heeled students

"Our program is for credit only so it's unpaid. Because of that, we don’t track applicant/intern
 numbers like I would assume
 a paid program might."

-- an unidentified USA Today employee, responding to blogger Jim Romenesko's survey of newspaper summer internship programs: how many applications received per opening. (Example: The New York Times got 1,644 for 13 positions.) According to its website, USAT is looking for just two interns this summer.


  1. As a student at Wellesley College, CEO Gracia Martore would not have been able to pursue an internship like USAT's after her father died when she was in her teens.

    As Barron's magazine reported in a recent profile, "Martore held three jobs during her Wellesley years—at the school's library, the Boston Public Library, and her uncle's seafood restaurant."

  2. I'm pretty sure that's a recent development. I always remember them being paid. Sports usually has more than two itself, so maybe those are no longer counted.

  3. How friggin' cheap-ass that the "nation's newspaper" can't pay its interns.

  4. USAT has not paid interns since 2005, at least. Interns used to receive a VERY small stipend to offset transportation costs. I'm not sure whether the transportation stipend still exists.

  5. USAT editorial interns are unpaid and must certify that they will get academic credit for their work. That's to avoid the whole mess of wage and hour investigations and lawsuits that have cropped up at some news orgs. Interns do get a small transportation stipend. USAT has a lot more than 2 editorial interns, even in fall and spring.

  6. Regardless of the reasoning, they are still unpaid. So, for once, everything that Jim claims is correct.

  7. It's pathetic not to pay interns. With staff cut to the bone, they are relied on more than ever.

    They pay a lot of money to go to college, which means the academic credit is something they/their parents pay for. So, in the end the student pays for an internship. Go somewhere better that USAT.

  8. Why would any intelligent college student in their right mind seeking to gain relevant and employable skills want to intern at Gannett and USA TODAY?


Jim says: "Proceed with caution; this is a free-for-all comment zone. I try to correct or clarify incorrect information. But I can't catch everything. Please keep your posts focused on Gannett and media-related subjects. Note that I occasionally review comments in advance, to reject inappropriate ones. And I ignore hostile posters, and recommend you do, too."

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