No pay for Harper’s magazine interns

-- From the latest issue of Harper's

— From the latest issue of Harper’s

The Nation announced earlier this month that it will begin paying its interns minimum wage and drop the $150 weekly stipend it had been paying for fulltime work.

I got the latest issue of Harper’s yesterday and saw this front-of-the-book interns-wanted announcement (at right). I wondered if Harper’s might follow The Nation and start paying its college interns minimum wage. Here’s what the magazine’s spokesperson told me this morning:

No. We’re very proud of our record of intern placement (former Harper’s interns appear all over the mastheads of the finest publications in the country) and many of them are hired here. One even rose to be editor of the magazine

How are others at Harper’s paid?
Here are the compensation figures from the magazine’s latest IRS Form 990:
* Associate publisher/sales Peter Kendall – $242,479
* Treasurer, VP/general manager Lynn Carlson – $227,309
* Editor Ellen Rosenbush – $177,916
* Former literary editor Benjamin Metcalf – $109,799
* Secretary Barbara Andreasson – $79,689.

It appears that the magazine also paid for Kendall’s Short Hills Club membership ($6,444).

* Read what they’re saying about this on Facebook (facebook.com) | The Atlantic weighs in, too (theatlanticwire.com)

IN CASE YOU MISSED IT: Wal-Mart’s “Practice What You Preach” letter to The Nation is after the jump.

From: Steven Restivo
Sent: Thursday, August 08, 2013 12:32 PM
To: Steven Restivo
Subject: An Open letter to The Nation

Dear Editor:

Our point in juxtaposing The Nation’s below-minimum wage pay for interns with the publication’s criticism of Walmart was not to compare nonprofit models with for-profit ones (“Walmart Gets Desperate,” August 7).

The message was simple: practice what you preach.

For years, The Nation has been a leading cheerleader of Walmart’s critics, using its platform to promote negative activity at our stores and prop up unsubstantiated claims about our business. All the while, the publication has been guilty of the same employment practices it accuses Walmart of exhibiting.

The Nation also makes a regular habit of ignoring some basic truths about Walmart: our entry-level associates are no different than those at other businesses. Many are just beginning their careers or looking to supplement other sources of income. And many stay with us and advance to greater responsibility.

Our starting wages are just that – a start. We take pride in providing opportunities for hundreds of thousands of high school students, retirees, veterans and others who are looking to gain a foothold in our economy. Consider:

We have more than a quarter-million associates who have been with us for 10 or more years;
Our average turnover rate is well below the retail industry rate;
Every year, we promote about 160,000 people to jobs with more responsibility and higher pay and;
About 75 percent of our store management teams started as hourly associates, and they now earn between $50,000 and $170,000 a year.

The managers of four new Walmart stores set to open on August 14 all started as hourly associates. We presume we will not be reading about their stories in The Nation.

Finally, it’s worth noting that The Nation’s response failed to challenge one of the key issues in the discussion over arbitrary wage increases. As The Nation Institute director Taya Kitman said herself, The Nation is anticipating hiring fewer interns this fall as a result of paying more.

It appears that whether you are a small non-profit or a large corporation, the tenets of basic economics still applies.

At Walmart, we’re proud of our positive contribution to the economy as well as our role in helping millions of Americans earn, save and invest.

Best Regards,

Steven V. Restivo Senior Director of Communications
Public Affairs & Government Relations
Office: 732.286.4562; Cell: 479.616.4493

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