They never learn. Or, rather, they learn that they can do whatever the hell they want. In the face of a lawsuit filed by impressionable young folk who made “less than $1 an hour” interning for W Magazine and The New Yorker, publishing giant Condé Nast has decided to double down and make it official: they no longer plan to pay their interns anything at all.
We’ll go out on a long, sturdy limb and assume that the company made this decision after a very similar suit filed against Hearst last year failed to proceed in its original “class action” form. The individually disgruntled interns involved in that case plan to press on alone, but Condé seems to think the whole thing’s a headache not worth having. This despite the fact that two guys who sued after working unpaid internships on the set of Black Swan won a settlement.
So there’s not a whole lot to see here, unfortunately.
The publisher will inevitably argue that its margins are too slim to afford paying its lackeys (troubled industry, troubled economy, etc.), but $550 per semester is no C-level salary. We considered making a point about such callous actions damaging the reputations of America’s leading publishing houses, but then we realized that none of this will make a bit of difference. Need an unpaid internship? Click here!
That said, we’ll go out of our way not to finish reading The New Yorker this month. Cartoons included.