Published on October 28, 2013 | by Laura Zapaskinaite

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New magazine challenges unpaid internships

Alec Dudson is behind The Intern magazine [Rosa Hardaker]

Students and graduates are stepping up their fight against unpaid internships in a new magazine that questions the exploitation of free labour in creative industries.

Intern magazine raises the debate around the ethics of unpaid work placements by featuring the work of unpaid interns and sharing their experiences.

Alec Dudson, editor-in-chief, said: “One of the dangerous trends emerging is that young people now think absolutely nothing about offering to work for free.

“I have someone every week offering to work on the project unpaid. It frustrates me a little bit because they obviously haven’t read much about it, the whole point is that I pay everyone involved. I know it’s not strict but it’s illegal and everyone still does it.”

According to Dudson the magazine may not change things on a grand scale, but he hopes it will get some people to rethink their approach to interning for free.

“I am hoping that by getting the variety of people to discuss it more openly will give young people the opportunity to think of the approach to internships,” he said. “It’s not to say they’re always bad, it’s not to say they’re always good. What it boils down to is that a lot of people can’t afford to live.”

Launch

A message to unpaid interns [Rosa Hardaker]

Excerpts from articles featured in the magazine were seen at Intern’s launch, and former UAL students were among the 200 guests.

Eurico Sa Fernandes, co-founder of design studio PONTO, said they have a clear policy on internships: “We don’t accept them at all. We’ve had a lot of e-mails offering work for free. Instead, we encourage them to do self-initiated projects or start their own practice.”

CSM graduate Clelia Bagd is looking to continue with her second degree, but while she backed the objectives of Intern, she asked: “What’s next? Because what they are writing about is something that we all know. It’s great that they’re making everyone aware but we are aware already.”

Intern is a bi-annual magazine and was funded by Kickstarter in August 2013, where it received £7,115 in 30 days – £1,615 more than Dudson’s goal.

Calls for contributions to the next issue will go out through an open call across social media.

 

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