Intern Magazine is a new publication funded by Kickstarter that will be launched later this year. The brainchild of former intern Alec Dudson, the magazine hopes to provide a platform for creative interns to showcase their work and stir up the ‘intern debate’. Alec spoke to Cision about his new venture, the state of internships and socks.
Where did the idea for Intern Magazine come from?
I previously interned at two publications in the magazine industry. As my second internship was coming to an end, I realised I wasn’t going to be the only person in London that summer working a bar job 30 hours per week so they could work for free on something they actually wanted to do. This led to the idea of Intern Magazine.
If approached in the right way, it could be not just cool and well-designed, but something that could actually serve a purpose beyond that, housing an important debate and acting as a useful resource for people who are in the situation I found myself in or starting on finding their path on their way into their respective industries.
What do you see as the ‘intern debate’?
The debate encompasses issues of social, gender and race equality. In the publishing industry, for example, the intern gender split is about 50/50, but when you get to senior editorial positions, the number of women drastically drops.
Also, from a more selfish aspect, the industries need to consider the sort of environment they’re fostering by normalising unpaid work. If you create a situation now where only people who can afford to break into these industries even get the opportunity to, they’re the only people who 10-15 years down the line will have any diction or sway. The creative industries are our jumping-off point for the magazine but it’s a scenario that undoubtedly spills across all sectors.
How will the debate feature in the magazine?
We’re splitting the magazine into two main sections:
The debate will be one half and serve a purpose on a number of levels. People who are about to graduate can plan their route into the industry; they can look at how people who have recently interned managed to advance their careers. Also, people who are professionally established can look back on their intern experiences, so it works both ways.
The other half is the showcase aspect that picks the brightest young talent trying to break into creative industries. They’re interns or recent interns of a professional standard that are struggling to get paid work. The section looks to put them in the shop window, pat them on the back, pay them for their contribution to the magazine and alert anyone who is looking for new talent. Hopefully ours will be the first in a long line of payments.
How much will the magazine cost?
The cover price is going to be £8. I’m aware that there’s a dilemma there – £8 isn’t cheap, especially if you’re expecting people to buy it who do not have any money or are unpaid. The sad fact is it costs a lot of money to print, especially in short runs. Paying all of our contributors is another concern. I’ve spoken to a lot of independent retailers and if something is cheaper it doesn’t particularly appeal to their customer base. A lot of consideration has gone into the price; I haven’t just chosen a number because I thought it would be a money spinner. If I wanted to make money, I would not have gone into print media.
How will the magazine work with brands?
We’ve got a few brands we’re working on. I don’t want to announce anything just yet, but we’re looking to have eight sponsors with each issue. It’s a model that Offscreen Magazine has absolutely perfected which means you don’t get the garish impact that adverts can have on a magazine. When you charge around £8 you justify it by not flooding the title with adverts. The brands we will work with will seamlessly flow into what we’re doing.