Small Victories

Atlantic Media to Pay Interns

The Labor Department is cracking down on companies’ use of unpaid interns to do real jobs—a problem worsened in some industries by the recession. Employment guidelines say employers can derive “no immediate advantage” from using unpaid interns—a rule that’s often fudged in the media world. Following an article in The New York Times, Atlantic Media announced that it will buck the unpaid trend—not only paying current interns, but giving backpay to last year’s crew. While the company, which owns Atlantic Monthly and National Journal, worked last year to create “a strong academic program” for their credit-only spots, the Times article caused them to rethink their policy. “We had thought this was the way to structure unpaid internships,” the company told DailyFinance, “but if it sits near a grey zone, it's not for us.” Atlantic Media joins Time Inc. as two of the few other media companies to pay its interns.