A History of Internships at CBC Television News

  • Marlene Murphy Senior Writer, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation
Keywords: , internships, television, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, Canadian Media Guild, unions


Internships are a common component of journalism education in Canada and, in some cases, a requirement for graduation. I look at the history and development of internships, both paid and unpaid, in the English-language national television newsroom of the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC), Canada’s public broadcaster. This account is informed by interviews with CBC staff, union officials, and former CBC interns as well as a survey of post-secondary education institutions that place interns with the CBC. I explore the establishment of unpaid internships at the CBC and the role of the Canadian Media Guild in creating the contract language defining the parameters of internship placements. Internships at the CBC are perceived by some of the Corporation’s staff as a responsibility of the public broadcaster, and representatives of the colleges and universities that participate in the program view the internships as valuable. I argue that the absence of institutional statistics on internships is a missed opportunity to deepen understanding of the role of internships at the CBC, and that systematic information-gathering by academic institutions regarding placements and offers of paid employment would be a useful resource in the debate over unpaid internships.

Author Biography

Marlene Murphy, Senior Writer, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation

Marlene Murphy is a senior writer at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. She has also worked at the CTV Television Network. She has a B.A. (Hons.) from McGill University, and an M.A. in Journalism from Western University.

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