That's publishing screwed, then • 1 August 2009 • The SnowBlog

That's publishing screwed, then

There's going to be an enquiry into unpaid internships, says the Guardian. It would be interesting to see what would happen if internships were banned in publishing. I bet you anything companies would suddenly pay a lot more attention to ways to automate processes and organise their data, for a start, if there wasn't a free labourer to do all the mindlessly repetitive tasks. Mind you, it's a bit catch 22. So many people are willing to work for free that it immediately reduces the chances of people who can't or won't when they go head to head for a job. My personal view, after having a lot of intern types in the early days of Snowbooks, is that they tend to require more time and energy than they put back into the business. And they all want to be editors. And when quizzed, they're not sure why. 'Er, because I love reading?' Get a library card, then, I have been known to mutter in my more snarly moments. The truth of the matter, of course, is that there's a lot more to being an editor than reading but it's very hard to understand that until you've experienced office working for a while. But being an intern won't really expose you to office politics, power struggles and inter-company bitching - not unless you pay very close attention and lurk behind close doors. My advice: work in another field for a few years, a lucrative one, then start your own company. It's the only way you can get to do what you want all day without someone else telling you to do something else.


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