Great Moments in Journalism Dept.
Toronto Star-owned freebie now written by unpaid interns
In one of the more creative ways to save money, the Toronto Metro laid off all its staff writers and hired unpaid interns to replace them.
Union president, Brad Honywill, doesn't think this is such a good plan. "In this kind of environment, layoffs are inevitable," he said. "But we reject the notion they can fill jobs with interns hired three days beforehand."
Metro's group publisher for English Canada, Bill McDonald, has a different take: "We made a small adjustment to our staff. We're managing our business in these economic times." He also said that "content partnerships" will be responsible for providing some stories.
The news comes just a couple weeks after the Metro in Spain was shut down. Apparently, there are no interns in Europe.
This is the same Metro that sold its entire front page to the Ontario Fiberals during the 2007 election. So the loss to “journalism” is probably not that great. But what would Holy Joe Atkinson think of exploiting unpaid labour to pad TorStar’s bottom line? Probably not much.