ProPublica raised $23,000 on Kickstarter to hire an intern whose job is to investigate unpaid interns. The successful applicant, Casey McDermott, sounds great -- a recent grad with a double major in Journalism and Sociology who edited Penn State's newspaper during the Sandusky scandal, and oversaw the paper's mobile app rollout. She says that her proximity to the issue -- having lots of friends who are interning, being an intern herself -- gives her great perspective. As an intern herself, McDermott said she’s excited to explore this issue. “There's been no shortage of debate surrounding this issue,” she said. “But it demands serious attention from reporters who are willing to look beyond the rhetoric — examining internships from legal, financial and other perspectives. I'm excited to have the chance to help ProPublica take a closer look at the intern economy and its implications for the people who keep it running.”
We’re excited to add Casey’s unique mix of accountability reporting experience, keen editorial judgment and multimedia skills to our internship team. She’ll start here at ProPublica HQ on September 3rd, and will hit the road soon after that to document the intern experience on the ground. What kind of support is available to those who may not be able to afford an unpaid internship? Are schools doing their part to ensure unpaid internships are educational and beneficial? These are some of the questions Casey will be looking into.