The national president of the Society of Professional Journalists has urged the Associated Press to maintain its paid internship program as it undergoes an internal examination.

A spokesman for the AP confirmed that the company is carrying out an internal examination of all its programs as "part of the companywide budgeting process during this challenging time for all news organizations and media firm".

"No final decision about the internship program has been made," he added.

According to a release from the SPJ, its president Hagit Limor warns that the closure of such programs by news companies could be a "short-sighted approach".

"Too often in recent years, we have seen news organizations slash their talent development programs as they move to cut costs," Limor says in the release.

"This may prove to be a short-sighted approach to charting the future of a company or industry, as experience has shown internship programs are essential investments in helping identify and train top talent for future roles in our business."

According to the SPJ the AP internship program, which started in 1984, has trained more than 350 aspiring journalists.

"Many of these interns now cover the White House, Capitol Hill, state houses and work in AP bureaus and other newsrooms across the country and around the globe," the release adds.

The AP changed its internship program in news to the AP Internship Program about 10 years ago, doubling the program in size.

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