The New York Times published an editorial on Sunday praising New York University and Columbia for moving away from unpaid internships, highlighting Columbia in particular for its decision to stop offering academic credit for them, as they “mostly functioned as a fig leaf for employers, who could pretend that the credit somehow justified not paying for a student’s work.”
While the newspaper’s editorial board operates independently from its newsroom, it was a little striking then to see the Times’ March 3 job listing for an unpaid spring semester video intern.
The ideal candidate will work between 10 and 20 hours a week “for school credit” and must be “enrolled in a greater NYC-area college pursuing a full-time degree in a related creative field,” according to the posting from March 3. The other five internships on the company’s website are paid positions.
Unpaid internships have been a hot-button issue, with a report from the National Association of Colleges and Employers showing last year that they make up roughly half the internships taken by the graduating class of 2013. The Times has been called out before for reporting on the questionable legality of unpaid internships then offering such jobs itself.
A Times spokesperson didn’t immediately reply to an email and voicemail after regular business hours seeking comment.