ProPublica is an independent non-profit journalistic organization based in New York that prides itself on publishing investigative journalism in the public’s interest. One of the next topics the folks at ProPublica want to tackle is the proliferation of unpaid internships in America. They’ve launched a Kickstarter campaign seeking $22,000 to hire an intern – fully paid – to help research the topic.
The campaign hopes to send this intern to college campuses all over the country. In doing so, the team hopes they can gather plenty of first-hand accounts from students.
As we all know, college students and internships go hand in hand. This is largely why ProPublica is taking on this project. In their words, “the number of internships in the U.S. has ballooned over the past few decades, with one recent study estimating more than 50 percent of graduating seniors holding some sort of internship during their time at school.”
There are emerging concerns regarding unpaid internships, especially regarding worker’s rights. The pitch video outlines instances where workplace sexual harassment charges were dismissed following revelations that the workers on the receiving end of the inappropriate conduct weren’t full employees.
That is to say nothing of the economics of internships. One quote from an interviewee sums things up…
“The intern economy is so awful, and even worse are the adults and other members of this generation who tell me I should feel thankful and lucky for being grossly underpaid and burdened with life-stunting debt at 23 years old. I see no way out.”
The Knight Foundation has pledged $2,500 in additional funding if the campaign reaches 250 backers.
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