Roberta’s, the internship “system” and glass houses
So you’ve probably seen the story about übersuccessful Bushwick pizza restaurant Roberta’s putting out a call for unpaid interns to work in its “urban garden.” Because this is the internet, everyone is outraged! Outraged, dammit! Check out the L Magazine, for instance:
Of course, the whole thing is pretty fucked up, and the internship economy is a massive bunch of exploitative horseshit that relies on getting free labor out of kids ardent for some desperate glory in their chosen fields. The L Magazine themselves have railed against this in the past, in fact, casting themselves as righteous investigative champions of the downtrodden college student. Bravo.
But, hang on, wait, what’s this? And this? Surely that couldn’t be The L Magazine putting out a call for unpaid interns, could it? Why yes, it is. Twice in the 18 months or so, in fact. “While internship is unpaid, it presents a great opportunity for hands on experience and portfolio building at not just one, but two, REALLY AWESOME magazines.”
Ah yes, the old do-it-for-your folio wheeze. Because folios and hands-on experience at REALLY AWESOME magazines are great for paying rent. And hey, what’s this at Gothamist, who also reported the Roberta’s story? And this? “No pay, but some perks and college credit available.” Wooooo. Good to see everyone fighting the good fight against Roberta’s leading by example, eh? SIGH.