Medill Announces JR Partnership with Foxconn
EVANSTON — Northwestern University’s Medill School of Journalism announced today an exciting new expansion to its Journalism Residency program. Starting this winter, students will have the option of working for Taiwanese manufacturer Foxconn in a “hands-on” role designed to “give students valuable media production experience” by having them produce DVD cases, Kindles, and iPods.
Medill administrators state that they first approached Foxconn after hearing reports that one of the electronic manufacturer’s factories was using local university “interns” as unpaid labor, forcing the students to work full-time shifts on the assembly lines in order to receive their degrees at the end of the year.
“At first we were a bit peeved that Foxconn stole our idea,” Medill Dean Arthur Kreneck stated in an exclusive Flipside interview. “But then we thought: why not? It’s not like our own programs are any less exploitative.”
Commonly known as “JR,” all Medill students are required to spend a full quarter working for one of the school’s 100+ “media partners” across the US and abroad. Most positions are unpaid, and students are not exempt from quarterly tuition expenses.
“Watch this,” Kreneck grinned as a nervous Medill junior hesitantly walked into the Dean’s office. “Good morning, Jenny! Are you ready to find out where you’ll be spending next spring?” The student nodded as Kreneck eagerly tore open the envelope on his desk.
“It’s Runner’s World magazine in scenic Emmaus, Pennsylvania! Hope you’ve got family or friends there! Now fuck off and go make coffee for 11 weeks. Oh, and don’t forget to leave your check by the front door.” Kreneck turned back to me as the student ran off in tears.
“Go ahead, ask me,” Kreneck laughed. “Ask me if we get a referral fee for each unpaid worker we send them. Do it. Ask.”
When asked, Kreneck stated definitively, “No comment,” and added a hearty wink.