The Devastating End to Condé Nast’s Internship Program

The Condé Nast Building in New York City

Last week, future journalists’ hearts broke all over the world as they received the disheartening news that the coveted publisher, Condé Nast, had suspended its internship program. Those future journalists are still in shock today.

“Intern Queen,” Lauren Berger, famous for her experience and advice about all things internship related, tweeted on Sunday Oct. 27, “Still can’t get over it. What happened Condé Nast?”

Last Wednesday’s headlines didn’t leave much up for interpretation, reading loud and clear, “Condé Nast Discontinuing Internship Program.”

But why?, the distraught college journalists implored. Women’s Wear Daily reported, “Condé Nast has decided to discontinue its internship program starting in 2014…The end of the program comes after the publisher was sued this summer by two former interns who claimed they were paid below the minimum wage during
internships at W and The New Yorker.”

Lauren Weber, a blogger for The Wall Street Journal, wrote that one of the interns, Matthew Leib “claimed that he had received stipends of $300 to $500 for each of the two summers he had worked at the prestigious weekly, where he had reviewed and proofread articles.” However, in court documents Condé Nast denied these allegations.

Weber said, “Unpaid or low-paid stints have long offered young people a foot in the door in industries such as media and non-profits, but the tide has been turning against these roles as interns themselves, college career centers and corporations question their merit.”

With one of the biggest magazine publishers in the United States pulling the plug on its program, one can’t help but wonder: Will the world of magazine internships ever be the same again?

Some of Condé Nast’s famous titles include: Vogue, Glamour, Allure, Self, Teen Vogue, W, GQ, Lucky, Brides, Architectural Digest, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, WWD, Epicurious, and Golf Digest. 

Stars of MTV’s The Hills, Lauren Conrad and Whitney Port, interning at Teen Vogue.

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