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Anger Over Unpaid Internship Listing Leads to Profitable Discussion


What seemed like a somewhat innocuous post over at a site for freelance photographers in DC requesting work samples for an unpaid internship for James Nachtwey‘s studio, turned into an all out firestorm. People came out of the woodwork to complain about the perceived advantage-taking the firm was after (“I wouldn’t wish that job on my worst enemy” and “Unpaid? You should be ashamed of yourself” were among the comments and the general tone in response). Furthermore, people were angry that the site would even post such a listing in the first place. Fortunately, sometimes that level of anger can result in something positive, as (found by way of Design Info) the site responded in another post shortly thereafter, getting into a great conversation about internships, unpaid or otherwise. If you have some time, it’s a really interesting read, with professionals like Pulitzer-winner Brian Smith chiming in to give their two cents on the issue. It’s a touchy subject, along very similar lines to that of all the heat the no-spec movement drums up from time to time. But like most touchy things, never as black and white as a 40 character blog comment comment try to make them seem.

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