The New York Times removed a job posting for an unpaid student intern after criticism that the listing was at odds with its own tough editorial on the practice.
“We have removed the job posting and are reviewing the intern eligibility rules,” Abbe Serphos, a spokeswoman for the Times, said in an email.
The newspaper published an editorial on Sunday praising New York and Columbia universities for moving away from unpaid internships, highlighting Columbia in particular for its decision to stop offering academic credit for the positions, 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.”
BuzzFeed noted Wednesday that while the editorial board operates independently from the newsroom, the newspaper was looking for an unpaid spring semester video intern to work between 10 and 20 hours a week for school credit. The other five internships on the company’s website, at the time, were paid positions.
Unpaid internships have become 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. However, in 2012, the response of a social media editor at the newspaper was: “The student gets credit for taking a class, which counts toward graduation, and it’s only a few hours a week.”
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