Temple Interns Begin Return to “Apartheid Era” Inquirer

University journalism department steps back from discouraging students to serve at the city's biggest paper.

The Temple News today reports on the end of an era we hadn’t quite known existed: Journalism students at the university had been discouraged—since last spring—from interning at the Philadelphia Inquirer because of the paper’s lily-white staff. The department is now reportedly “easing up” on that policy.

Professor Maida Odom, director of the department’s internship office, said the faculty decided as a group to enact the discouragement policy on her suggestion after the Inquirer reassigned its last African-American city desk reporter, Vernon Clark, to the obituaries section.

“We felt it was a tipping point,” Odom said. “We decided we shouldn’t send students into that environment.”

Odom said the Inquirer city desk had “apartheid era staffing,” compared with other newspapers and media outlets where students were interning.

Odom, a former Inky journo, said the policy had been “relaxed” after the paper hired an African-American reporter.