Ari Shapiro Visits Towson and Puts Unpaid Internships On the Spot


NPR Journalist Ari Shapiro answering questions from Towson students during a Q&A (Photo by: Jarvis Royall/TU Student)

Radio personality for National Public Radio visited Towson Wednesday and voiced his opinion that more internships should be paid.

In a studio with about 30 people in attendance, Ari Shapiro fielded questions from many students who had aspirations to be journalists just like him.  When asked about his career path, he spoke very highly of his internship experience and he urged that more organizations should offer paid intern positions.

“If you can get a paid internship right out of college instead of going to graduate school, I say do that,” Shapiro said.  “It is way more beneficial to actually get the experience in the field.”

Shapiro was denied from all job applications after graduating from Yale, including NPR. He planned on teaching English in Greece for a year while looking for a job.  It was not until he learned to apply to a specific correspondent that he was offered a position.

Shapiro started as an intern for NPR in 2001 under legal affairs correspondent Nina Totenberg.  After spending five years as a Justice correspondent and another four years covering the White House, Shapiro was presented an unexpected position to be the London correspondent for NPR which is his current position.

This position came after plenty of hard work, as Shapiro was first offered two temporary positions before capturing a permanent spot with NPR.

Nicole Simone, 22, is an Electronic Media & Film major at Towson University and found this Q&A very interesting

“It was awesome to hear him talk,” Smith said.  “I’m an EMF major so I really enjoyed seeing a radio figure come and participate in an event like this.”

Shapiro captivated everyone with his travel stories, detailing his many trips all over the world.  Places like Sweden, Asia, and the Middle East, have given Shapiro a multitude of experiences to be able to share with his audience.

Shapiro is a shameless advocate for NPR and suggests that all Towson students in the Mass Communications department apply for a paid position within the organization.  He along with the rest of the members at NPR are actively looking for the next intern to produce another great 15 years.



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