Money for nothing: How much would you pay for an upaid internship?


If you heard a long, anguished, agonized scream today, don't call the cops. You probably heard the collective sobbing of journalists around the nation. We already know print news is in trouble; newspapers have had trouble paying the bills since they rolled the dice and hoped that giving away their reporting for free online would eventually pay off. So far, after more than a decade, it hasn't.

Instead of selling its product, one website is selling an unpaid summer internship. That's right, intern pay equals zero. You read that correctly. Forget applying; that's old-school. Today, any enterprising journalist with sufficient cash can bid on an internship at The Huffington Post, a website infamous among freelance journalists for its payscale of precisely zero dollars per word.

But at least the writers don't have to pay to be published. But is giving away a HuffPo internship that, at the time of this writing, has attracted 10 bids, topping out at $13,000. Somebody out there has agreed to pay $13,000 for the privilege of working for free.