Most unpaid internships offered by for-profit employers are illegal, a Labor official tells the New York Times. But the rules don’t apply to nonprofits. President Obama’s Organizing for America offered unpaid internships during the campaign, writes Kerry Picket of the Washington Times (via HotAir). The group is still offering internships today with no pay and no stipends for food, transportation or housing.
Working alongside our reporters and editors, students can expect to observe news events, evaluate news releases and competitors’ stories for possible coverage, and have their work critiqued by New York Times staffers.
. . . Students should expect to write several articles during their semester at The Times and will receive pay at minimum freelance rates for these news stories, as well as for any legwork or stringing. The internship itself is unpaid.
Jacobson isn’t sure this would pass muster with the Labor Department. If interns are evaluating stories for possible coverage, they’re providing value to the employer.
Of course, any would-be journalist would love the opportunity, even without the chance to freelance for minimum pay.