Marie Claire to review R30-a-day intern programme

2016-01-21 17:12

Cape Town - Marie Claire magazine will "review" its intern programme after an outcry over the R30 a day it pays interns.

In a statement on its website, Julia Raphaely, CEO of Associated Media Publishing wrote: "We’ve been following your voices on social media and would like to address the debate about our internship programme.

"Our internship programme provides valuable training in magazine and digital publishing. We empower participants through mentoring from industry heavyweights, helping them to build a portfolio of work and content, and facilitating crucial relationships within the industry.

'"While the benefits of interning are many, we are in the process of reviewing our internship programme. We will discuss this with key stakeholders in the business and make changes. We will be transparent about the outcome once a decision has been made.

"Thank you for bringing this important discussion to us."

According to the advertisement, the person chosen for the intern spot, would have to get to their offices in Gardens, Cape Town, and work between 08:30 and 17:00 for six months.

The internship is mostly focused on online, where the intern would have to pitch, research and write posts for the Marie Claire webiste. However, there is also a related print aspect.

Applicants will have to do a writing test, and display knowledge of Facebook and Twitter.

It was the sentence, "You will receive a small daily stipend of about R30/day" that set people off.

"Does Marie Claire understand that R30 is not enough for a return taxi fair? One would have to PAY EXTRA to intern for them! Lunch excluded," tweeted @Milisauthando Mbete.

The Southern African Freelancers' Association slammed the practice of not paying interns as exploitative.

"While the experience and workplace understanding gained might be invaluable to the intern, a company should not be able to allocate a portion of its entry level work to free labour," said Cliver Lotter, chairperson of Safrea.

"Unpaid or poorly paid internships are also a way of propagating the cycle of privilege and excluding those from disadvantaged backgrounds."

Lotter said only interns with considerable financial support at home could afford to work for free and this support was usually limited to the privileged upper echelons of society.

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