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Firms exploiting students are under fire

24 Apr 2008

Firms exploiting students are under fire The National Union of Journalists (NUJ) has threatened to expose newspapers that exploit work experience staff to cover full-time jobs.

As part of its ongoing campaign for press and broadcasting freedom, the NUJ conducted a survey of journalism student placements with UK media firms and found that more than half of them were breaking the law.

This could be good news for student journalists as the pressure may result in media firms paying placement workers for their time, as according to the NUJ the survey also found that the majority of placement workers were getting little or little money.

It suggested that of those that worked after qualifying, 20 per cent undertook a placement of three months or more.

The union is writing to media organisations warning them that it will 'name and shame' them if they refuse to act upon this infringement of the law on minimum wage.

NUJ general secretary Jeremy Dear said that the union would continue to campaign for employers and the government to bring an end to this "damaging exploitation".

He added: "This isn't work experience, it is exploitation. We're all in favour of students getting a feel for life in a newsroom, but in many cases companies are just looking for free labour.

"Demanding that people put in months of work for free doesn't help companies find the best journalists, it helps them find the ones that can afford to put in the hours without pay," he concluded.

Find and apply for summer internships, Easter internships and Placement year internships through the Internship Job Search, or use the All Jobs Search to find other types of student job vacancies and work opportunities.

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