Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism charges its students $15,040 in tuition to work as full-time unpaid interns at places like CNN, Self and WGN Chicago, during their journalism residency. In turn these companies pay Northwestern’s Medill, $1,250 per student they use. So the school is charging it’s students thousands of dollars then getting paid by companies for acting as a middle man for these internships.
Here’s what journalism students get in return,”Students receive academic credit and a small stipend from the university for relocation expenses, ranging from $600 to $1,200. The most generous stipend amounts to just $2.72 an hour — far below the federal minimum wage.” The worst part is that Medill forbade students from getting second jobs to supplement the nearly $0 they were making.
Internships are necessary to make it in writing and journalism fields and there is something to be said about having a semester where you are working full-time instead of taking classes—it’s a great learning experience. However, not everyone can afford to go to school and not have a job. To treat someone like a staff member and not pay them at least minimum wage is not only cruel, it’s illegal. Furthermore to forbid students from getting another job so that they can maybe have a fighting chance in this business is just horrific.