This seems wrong. Via Yahoo news comes the report that Huff Post, Vanity Fair and other media outlets are auctioning off internships. Yes, the money supports the Robert F. Kennedy Center for Justice and Human Rights. But it's still adding another layer to Auction America, where everything is available at a price. Once, internships were a way for companies to give back, help bright young people launch into the real world and groom essential talent for the future. Then they became unpaid, a source of cheap labor. Now they seem as if they're morphing into yet another attempted revenue source.
Breaking into the media business is tough, with a seemingly endless supply of bright young college graduates vying for unpaid internships at elite publications. Still, there's another route to getting one's foot in the door, if you have money to burn: Win an auction!
Want to "jump-start your career in the blogosphere" by way of the Huffington Post? That'll cost $9,000. How about spending a couple weeks strolling the rarefied halls at Vanity Fair? Try $2,900. Or maybe you'd rather get some face time with Anna Wintour at Vogue? Well, you'll have to dig $42,500 out of the bottom of your Hermes Birkin bag for that one.
Perhaps to offset the appearance that only wealthy interns would get inside, each publication also created a slot that doesn't cost anything, according to the RFK Center.