- NPR received 20,520 applications for its 27 fall internship openings this year, a significant increase from last year's total of 2,597 applications for 55 openings in 2019, the outlet confirmed to HR Dive in an email.
- In a report on the figures, public news media service Current cited NPR spokesperson Isabel Lara as explaining that the hiring increase "is probably due to the fact that these internships are remote this year, and applicants don't need to move to expensive cities like New York City, Los Angeles, Chicago or Washington, D.C., for this rare and coveted career-launching opportunity."
- NPR's application page states that the outlet's 2020 fall internship program will be fully remote and that applicants may apply for multiple internships.
The COVID-19 pandemic spurred a number of job cuts and operational changes for newsrooms across the U.S.
According to a list maintained by the nonprofit Poynter Institute for Media Studies, layoffs, pay cuts, hours reductions and a number of other employment actions have hit several outlets across the full spectrum of print, TV, internet and radio operations. The list includes NPR, which has so far announced pay and benefits cuts as well as executive pay cuts, according to Poynter.
Interns across a variety of industries also faced abrupt cancellations as budgetary resources dried up and the pandemic closed offices before the summer. Others moved their programs to a virtual status or otherwise continued to pay interns despite delays.
Despite these trends, employers largely still view internship programs as important sources of talent, and many view pay as an important aspect of these programs, sources previously told HR Dive. Unpaid opportunities may limit the pool of applicants that might otherwise apply, but the promise of pay alone doesn't necessarily guarantee that an internship program is accessible to diverse groups of applicants.
Employers have a number of options and strategies to consider when moving internships remote. Organizations like Parker Dewey have announced plans to offer remote-based templates for employers as an alternative to canceling internships altogether. Those operating virtual internships can also work with managers to ensure maintenance of equitable evaluation processes, accessibility of any technology that enables remote work as well as the continuation of cultural events for interns like virtual community service projects.