Exploitation of eager work experience students is one of the magazine and newspaper industries’ dirty little secrets.
Some of their best-known titles have allowed a culture to build up whereby they have become reliant on willing, unpaid volunteers desperate to get on the career ladder to plug their budgetary gaps.
So the new guidelines from the Periodical Publishers Association are to be warmly welcomed. Although voluntary, they provide a sensible, pragmatic framework for editors to ensure they are giving the students they use proper training – and money where necessary – without taking advantage of them.
Sweeping the floor, fetching the editor’s dry cleaning and writing half the magazine without payment are not on the list.