Journalism in the Public Interest

Business & Finance, Education

Help Us Tell the Story of the Intern Economy

Update 6/26: We did it!! Thanks to you, we reached our Kickstarter goal and raised $22,000 to hire an intern for the fall to help us cover the intern economy. 

And some extra good news: since we hit 500 backers, the Knight Foundation has also agreed to give us $5,000 for this project. 

Today, we launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise enough money to hire an intern to help with our investigation into – wait for it – internships.

Millions of current and former interns have stories to share. We’ve already received over 240 through our online questionnaire. But we simply don’t have the bandwidth to tell them all.

That’s why we want to hire an intern. We plan to send our intern to college campuses across the country, collecting intern stories in a visual way (think video, animation, graphics). We will be closely involved from ProPublica HQ, training our intern in multimedia, reporting and editing skills while they’re on the road.

These stories are a vital part of this investigation. While our reporters will focus on deep dive watchdog reporting, our intern will help highlight the human side of the issue in a visual, creative way.

However, if we don’t raise the money to cover the salary, travel and production costs, we won’t be able to hire someone.

How you can help

1.    Donate to our Kickstarter The best way to help our investigation is to donate to our Kickstarter campaign. We’re aiming to raise $22,000 to cover the costs of hiring an intern for the fall semester. As little as $5 would be a huge help. (Seriously – the Knight foundation is matching donations based on number of sponsors. In this case, $5 really does count.)

2.    Share If can’t spare any cash, you can still help by sharing our Kickstarter campaign with everyone you know. 

3.    Tell your story. Stories are the most important part of this project! If you’ve held an internship in the last three years, share your experience with us through our online questionnaire.

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Though the intern economy remains opaque, dialogue about the role of interns in the labor force – and protections they deserve – is beginning to take shape.

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