Journalism in the Public Interest


We have a variety of ways for you to take action, depending on who you are and what information we already have about your school. Find out how you can get involved.More »

Four years after warning for-profit companies about unpaid internships, the agency has investigated relatively few employers for wage violations.More »

Does this latest development to protect unpaid interns in New York point to a greater trend?More »

Is your unpaid summer internship illegal? A breakdown of the laws on working for free.More

All 22 Stories (0)

  updates since last visit

What We Learned Investigating Unpaid Internships

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.

Four Ways You Can Seek Back Pay for an Unpaid Internship

Think you’re entitled to be paid for your unpaid internship? Here are resources you should know about.

Have You Interned in Arts or Entertainment? Rate Your Internship

Help us understand what it’s like to intern in an industry that often doesn’t pay.

The Department of Labor’s Internships Investigations

In 2010, the Labor Department issued a new fact sheet clarifying when an intern needs to be paid under federal labor law. We collected the case files for all the internship investigations the Labor Department concluded in the three years after issuing new regulations.

How the Labor Department Has Let Companies Off the Hook for Unpaid Internships

Four years after warning for-profit companies about unpaid internships, the agency has investigated relatively few employers for wage violations.

Labor Department Intervenes on Behalf of Hearst Interns

The federal agency asks the Second Circuit to crack down on employers that refuse to pay interns.

Interns Are Now Protected Against Sexual Harassment in NYC

Does this latest development to protect unpaid interns in New York point to a greater trend?

The Price of an Internship

Unpaid internships can help young workers advance their career goals. But they can also vary significantly in cost and quality. Explore college internship programs at different schools across the United States — or tell us about your experience interning for academic credit.

Are You an Internship Coordinator?

Help us understand how internship policies are structured at schools across the U.S. by telling us about your university

One J-School Internship Coordinator Says Paid Positions Have Dropped by Nearly Half

As part of our ongoing investigation into the role colleges and universities play in the intern economy, we spoke with an internship coordinator to learn more about the process of developing an internship program.

Brandeis, Marquette, Western Washington and Northwestern Students Team Up With Project Intern

We’ve added three new schools, and four new project partners in our effort to collect information on internship programs at schools across the country.

New York University Ramps up Internship Oversight

Career center now asks employers to certify that internship listings abide by Labor Department guidelines

Reporting Recipe: How to Add Information About Internships for Academic Credit At Your School

ProPublica is calculating the cost and quality of internships for credit around the country. And we need your help.

2013: The Year of the Intern?

Despite key court ruling and an upswing in legal challenges, many internship issues remain unresolved

How Expensive Is Your College Internship? We Built an App for That

#ProjectIntern is taking a closer look at the intersection of internships and higher education – and we need your help.

Calculating ‘The Price of an Internship’

How much do you pay in tuition to take an internship? Here's how we calculate tuition share in "The Price of an Internship."

You Know Who Else Uses Unpaid Interns? Colleges and Universities

Over the past year, unpaid internships in journalism, film and government have drawn more scrutiny. But some schools — notably, their athletic departments — have sought out unpaid interns, too.

Q&A: David Yamada on Condé Nast and Intern Rights

Law professor and intern labor rights advocate David Yamada shares his take on Condé Nast’s decision to end its internship program and the debate over intern rights and wages.

New York Councilmember, De Blasio Back Closing Harassment Loophole for Unpaid Interns

A judge’s dismissal of sexual harassment case has prompted one New York councilmember to push for unpaid interns to be protected under city’s Human Rights Law.

#ProjectIntern Hits the Road to Capture College Intern Stories

Help Us Calculate the Cost of Unpaid Internships for Academic Credit

A growing number of colleges are offering academic credit for unpaid internships. But at what cost to students?

Northwestern’s Journalism Program Offers Students Internships with Prestige, But No Paycheck

Colleges have used internships as a way to prepare their students for the professional world, but they’re also collecting tuition for unpaid internships.

Sandberg’s Lean In Called For an Unpaid Intern – And That’s Apparently Legal

The nonprofit, which aims to empower women to achieve their goals, advertised online for an unpaid intern. And it was apparently legal for them to do so.

Meet Our Kickstarter Intern!

You helped us raise over $22,000 to hire an intern to help us investigate the intern economy. Now, help us welcome Casey McDermott.

How Unpaid Interns Aren’t Protected Against Sexual Harassment

It’s not just about a paycheck. Federal laws protecting workers against discrimination and sexual harassment often don’t apply to unpaid interns.

Nation Institute to Pay Interns Minimum Wage

Starting this fall, Nation Institute interns will now be paid minimum wage, instead of the current $150 a week stipend.

Tracking Intern Lawsuits

The complaints against Condé Nast, Warner Music and Gawker Media are the latest in a rising tide of lawsuits brought by unpaid interns, many of which are still in progress.

Thank You, From the Bottom of Our Hearts

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. Now, the fun really begins.

To Cope with Sequester, Justice Department Staffs Unpaid Attorneys

DOJ has defended hiring of unpaid special assistant U.S. attorneys, who do much of the same work as their paid counterparts.

Help Us Tell the Story of the Intern Economy

We've launched a Kickstarter help power ProPublica's investigation into internships. If we raise $22,000, we can send our intern around the country reporting intern stories. Can you help us meet our goal?

Kickstarter Lessons for Journalists

We're wrapping up our first-ever Kickstarter. Here's a bit about what we learned.

What’s Your Internship Story?

Share tweets and photos that capture your internship experience, past or present, with the hashtag #MyInternStory. We'll feature your responses on our site.

Employers and Career Counselors: What’s Your View on Internships?

Help our ongoing reporting on internships by telling our reporters what you’ve seen.

When Is It OK to Not Pay an Intern?

Is your unpaid summer internship illegal? A breakdown of the laws on working for free.

Unpaid Interns Win Major Ruling in ‘Black Swan’ Case — Now What?

A judge has ruled that Fox Searchlight violated federal and New York minimum wage laws by not paying two production interns.

Have You Had to Turn Down an Internship Because You Needed to Get Paid?

The current internship economy raises issues of race, class and missed opportunities. We want to hear from people whose internship story is, “I can’t afford one.”

Betting Against the Future: How Industry Loses When Interns Go Unpaid

A young journalist reflects on her own internship experiences — and how the reliance on unpaid interns is contributing to a failing system.

Transcript: How Do Unpaid Internships Impact Industry?

Join ProPublica and the Guardian US on Friday, May 31, at 1:30 PM ET for a live chat on the rise of unpaid internships.

Have You Held An Internship Recently? Help Us Investigate

In the past few decades, the number of internships in the United States has ballooned. But legal protection for interns, particularly those who are unpaid, hasn’t kept pace with this rapidly emerging workforce. That’s why we’re turning our eyes to internships in the U.S.

Get Updates

Our Hottest Stories