OK thanks - smart casual it is. Black trousers, black brogues, collar with white t- shirt underneath and a grey or black cardi with tie in pocket - he won't consider a bag/satchel at all. The placement is with the Books dept, not sure if it will mean meeting pouring coffee for a best selling author all I know is he has been asked to submit a review.
When I wrote 'invite him along for a formal interview', I didn't mean he would be the interviewee! I meant that a more experienced journo would do an interview with some bigwig and allow him to sit in and pour the coffee or whatever.
Def smart casual - a friend of mine did graduate work experience at the Observer. I also once did an internship at a media company - can I really recommend smart black jeans, plus a decent but not too old-fogey shirt, and a white t-shirt underneath. And a tie in his bag just in case they invite him along for a formal interview (OK, probably unlikely, but you never know). In my media company we never knew where we'd be spending the day - interviewing a minister or a homeless guy, and the clothing needed to be flexible enough to match.
Amusingly, DD1 did her work experience at an embassy earlier this year. We're not in the UK, and in a part of the world which is notoriously casually dressed. But the embassy was for a country with a much stricter dress code. I asked people on here which dress style to go for, and the general consensus was that she should just knuckle under and wear the full formal business suit, tights, shiny shoes etc. So she did that for the first day - wore my lovely grey two-piece with a white blouse, and of course she was more formally dressed than any other woman in the whole office (including the female diplomats). From the second day onwards she went with smart casual instead.
ds off to London tomorrow for 2 weeks work experience at The Guardian. He has no idea if its a suit environment or smart casual. None of the correspondence seems to give any clues. I haven't a clue either. Any advice on what he should wear?