The Tab

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The Tab
Type News site
Format Online
Owner(s) Tab Media Ltd
Founder(s) George Marangos-Gilks, Jack Rivlin, Taymoor Atighetchi
Editor-in-chief Joshi Herrmann
Founded June 2009; 9 years ago (2009-06)
Headquarters London
Website thetab.com

The Tab is a youth news site published by Tab Media Ltd. It was launched at the University of Cambridge and has since expanded to over 80 universities in the United Kingdom and United States.[1] The name originates from both an abbreviation for 'tabloid' and a nickname applied to Cambridge students (from 'Cantabs').[1]

The Tab's network consists of a national site and an individual sub-site for each university. Local campus-based stories are produced by students, with a student editorial team for each sub-site. Professional editors in The Tab's offices in Shoreditch and Williamsburg offer guidance and editorial insight to their student teams, as well as writing for the site on a regular basis.

In September 2017 News Corp was the main investor of a total of $6m (£4.6m) of new funding raised by Tab Media. In return for its investment News Corp has taken a minority stake in it and Emma Tucker, deputy editor of The Times, will sit on its board of directors.[1]

History

2009–2012

The Tab was launched in 2009 by Cambridge students Jack Rivlin, George Marangos-Gilks and Taymoor Atighetchi.[2] The website was marketed as "Cambridge University's Online Tabloid" promising to "provide fast news and entertainment direct to your rooms"..[3] The Tab was initially funded entirely by its three founders, although it now funds itself through advertising and other investment.

At its inception, "Tab Totty", a Page 3-esque feature, featured photographs of scantily clad Cambridge University (male and female) students in provocative poses. The feature was widely criticised, and Cambridge University's Women's Officer stated, "We can do better as a university". The subsequent controversy was picked up by several mainstream British newspapers, and made international headlines.[4][5][6][7]

In 2009, the site's readers voted British National Party leader Nick Griffin "The worst person ever to attend Cambridge University"[8] with 44% of the vote.[9] In early 2010, The Tab ran an April Fools' Day hoax claiming Griffin had been stripped of his degree. This was subsequently reported by The Sun who believed the claims to be genuine.[10]

In its first year of existence, The Tab made more than twenty appearances in the national media.[citation needed]

In November 2010, The Tab released documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act detailing recent disciplinary procedures enacted across the University.[11] Details from the documents released were then reported by national newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph.[11]

In June 2011, The Tab published a pilot print edition of 5,000 copies in May Week and another Freshers' Week edition in October 2011. This tradition continued in the following years.

2012–2015

In Autumn 2012, The Tab expanded to twelve other British universities. Backed by external investment, Rivlin and Marangos-Gilks aim to build a mass circulation online paper for students across the country.

The news site has received praise from multiple journalists, including Louise Mensch and David Dinsmore,[citation needed] and has held journalism training events in association with The Daily Telegraph.[12]

2015-present

The Tab opened its first American bureau in Brooklyn in July 2015. The Tab's first scoop to make the national papers came four days before it launched its first sub-site – a video of a UVA hockey player chugging a beer on the ice which they broke on their Facebook page made The Washington Post, USA Today and several other titles.[13][14]

The site launched at 23 colleges on the East Coast in the fall of 2015 – including Ivy League institutions, and major public universities such as Penn State, University of North Carolina, and Rutgers.

They were read by over 350,000 people in their first full month[citation needed] and broke several stories which made the American national press. Their coverage of a Dartmouth Black Lives Matter protest was featured on Fox News and quoted in The Washington Post.

In April 2016, The Tab broke the news of where President Obama's daughter Malia was attending college.[1]

In August 2016, founder Jack Rivlin assumed the role of CEO and Joshi Herrmann, a former Tab Cambridge editor who had been working at the Evening Standard, was appointed as Editor in Chief. Grace Vielma became UK Editor.

They have since expanded their team at their London office to 33[15] and reach over 11,000,000 monthly readers globally.[citation needed]

The Tab gets around six stories into the British national press a week.[citation needed]

In September 2017 News Corp was the main investor of a total of $6m (£4.6m) of new funding raised by Tab Media. In return for its investment News Corp has taken a minority stake in it and Emma Tucker, deputy editor of The Times, will sit on its board of directors.[1]

Babe

Babe is a spinoff aimed at young women.[16] It was established in May 2016 by then Tab editor Roisin Lanigan and focuses on what Slate contributor Ruth Graham called "vulgar tomfoolery" – provocative, light stories unlikely to appeal to older women.[17]

In January 2018, it broke the story of Aziz Ansari's alleged sexual misconduct, bringing mixed reactions to its reporting and contributions to the "#MeToo" movement.[17] The journalist who wrote the story at Babe.net, Katie Way, was criticized by HLN anchor Ashleigh Banfield. Banfield had previously criticized Ansari's anonymous accuser, drawing Way's ire in an email response. Banfield read part of it on-air, characterizing it as hypocritical.[18] Responding to criticism of the site's choice to publish the account, Tab editor-in-chief Joshi Herrmann said it was "patently ridiculous" to ignore stories solely because they did not involve illegal behavior.[19]

Awards

The Tab was highly commended at the Newspaper Awards in 2012 and 2014.[citation needed]

Then-editor-in-chief Jack Rivlin was noted as one of 30 People Under 30 to watch by The Guardian and was named one of the London Evening Standard's 'Power 1000' in 2013.

Scoops

Notable scoops for The Tab include Malia Obama's decision to go to Harvard University,[1] the publication of the memes that got 12 incoming freshmen kicked out of Harvard,[20] and the story of married Louisiana politician Mike Yenni seducing a 17-year-old boy, who went on to study at Brown University.[21]

In 2012, The Tab were first to cover the "milking" craze, which was broken by the Newcastle edition.[citation needed] In December 2012, the Bristol title revealed a ban on female speakers at the university's Christian Union.[22][23]

In January 2013, The Tab Exeter broke a story about staff in the University of Exeter student bar recording a couple having sex that they had seen on their CCTV, during the Safer Sex Ball.[24][25]

Starting in September 2013, The Tab pioneered[citation needed] a campaign that got student unions across the UK to ban Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines, after Edinburgh University Students' Association boycotted it.[26][27][28][29]

Later in the year, the site published an exclusive story after DJ Tim Westwood was caught unleashing a torrent of sexist jibes at Leicester's Student Union.[30][31] In February 2016 The Tab's Reading edition interviewed Amber-May Ellis, a student at the University of Reading and a reality TV star, who got a tattoo of homeless Ian Beale on her thigh.[32] In under 24 hours the story had gone viral, it was picked up by all of the U.K's tabloid newspapers[33] and by ITV's This Morning.[citation needed]

In one week in 2014, The Tab broke four stories which were later picked up by the national press.[citation needed] The Tab dubbed this "The week The Tab dominated Fleet Street".[34]

In February 2017, The Tab Cambridge broke a story about a student member of the Cambridge Conservative Association burning a £20 note in front of a homeless person.[35] The story was covered by The Guardian,[35] The Sun[36] and The Daily Telegraph.[37]

False scoops

In April 2010, an April Fools' Day story alleging that Cambridge had stripped Nick Griffin of his degree was picked up by The Sun.[38] Later in the year, the site managed to convince a rival student paper at Cambridge that a phenomenon known as "bog snorkelling" was a new craze at the university, purveyed by interviewee Mack Rivling (a parody on the name of co-founder Jack Rivlin).[citation needed]

An April Fools' Day 2014 a Cambridge story alleged that Prince William had received a third class degree.[39]

Controversies

The "Rear of the Year" competition run by The Tab, which asked students to anonymously submit images of their bums to be rated by others, drew controversy in 2013 which led to Cambridge editor Will Heilpern defending the contest on national television.[citation needed]

In October 2016, a group of University of Nottingham students dressed as a rollercoaster were reported by The Tab to be impersonating The Smiler rollercoaster crash of June 2015. This article was picked up by the national press including the BBC, ITV and Metro. The Tab reporter, Joseph Archer, admitted to the Daily Mail that he had 'not spoken to the group to ask what their costume was about' as the bar they were in was 'very busy',[40] a statement that the group of students said was wrong.[41] The Tab later issued an apology for their story and admitted that they had 'messed up'.[42]

Student writers, including local student editors, are unpaid which has led to heavy criticism from other journalists as well as accusations The Tab is exploiting its writers.[43][44]

When The Tab's women's vertical[clarification needed] babe was first launched in May 2016 the majority of its writers were unpaid work experience students taking part in The Tab's summer 2016 Fellowship Scheme.[45] In 2017 babe recruited more unpaid contributors in both the US and UK, as part of their 'Summer Correspondents' program.[46] Applicants were told that despite being unpaid they would receive many benefits, including: "Getting your stories read by thousands of readers across the world".[47][48] babe has since established a small team of staff writers and editors at its Brooklyn office.

References

  1. ^ a b c d e f Ruddick, Graham (7 September 2017). "Taking the Tab: news site founder on how he got $4m from Rupert Murdoch". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  2. ^ "Tab totty row: Storm in a D-cup?". BBC. 30 October 2009. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  3. ^ About Us Archived 2014-07-15 at the Wayback Machine., The Tab, Cambridge, UK.
  4. ^ Richard Edwards, Cambridge University in 'totty' row, The Telegraph, 29 October 2009.
  5. ^ Rowenna Davis, Cambridge's tawdry tabloid 'totty'. The Guardian, 27 October 2007
  6. ^ James Clothier, Cambridge girls in sexy pics row, The Sun, 30 October 2009.
  7. ^ Nicola Boden, Cambridge University row students set tabloid website complete with Page Three, Daily Mail, 30 October 2009.
  8. ^ The Guardian, Diary, 4 December 2009
  9. ^ Jack Rivlin, "Official: Griffin is Worst Tab" Archived 2014-07-11 at Archive.is, The Tab, 28 November 2009
  10. ^ Matthew Weaver, Sun April fooled by student's BNP story, News Blog, The Guardian, 2 April 2010.
  11. ^ a b Martin Evans, "Discipline files reveal high jinks of Cambridge students", Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2010.
  12. ^ "The Tab's Blog". blog.tab.co.uk. 
  13. ^ Allen, Scott (2015-09-14). "Virginia club hockey goalie chugs beer during game, gets ejected". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  14. ^ "College hockey goaltender ejected after chugging beer on the ice". For The Win. Retrieved 2015-11-19. 
  15. ^ The Tab. "Tab HQ". The Tab. Archived from the original on 2014-07-14. 
  16. ^ Hsu, Tiffany (September 6, 2017). "With Rupert Murdoch's Help, Tab Media Targets Young and Cheeky on Campus". The New York Times. Retrieved January 15, 2018. 
  17. ^ a b Graham, Ruth (January 17, 2018). "Fun, Free-Wheeling, and Kind of Terrifying". Slate. Retrieved January 17, 2018. 
  18. ^ Hibberd, James (January 17, 2018). "HLN host reads insulting email sent by Aziz Ansari 'bad date' reporter". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved January 18, 2018. 
  19. ^ Stelter, Brian (January 16, 2018). "Babe editor stands by Aziz Ansari story". CNNMoney. Retrieved January 22, 2018. 
  20. ^ "At least 10 who got into Harvard lose admission over offensive memes". USA Today. 5 June 2017. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  21. ^ "'I'm not gay': Married Louisiana GOP lawmaker, 40, admits sexting a 17-year-old boy but insists they never had sex and he is not homosexual". Daily Mail. 26 November 2016. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  22. ^ Morris, Steven (4 December 2012). "Bristol University Christian Union bars women from teaching". The Guardian. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  23. ^ "Bristol University's Christian Union Bans Women From Speaking At Meetings". HuffPost. 6 December 2012. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  24. ^ "Students Caught Having Sex On CCTV At Exeter University Safer Sex Ball (Video)". HuffPost. 16 January 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  25. ^ "University investigation after explicit video of student safe sex ball posted on the internet". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  26. ^ "Universities ban Blurred Lines on campuses around UK". The Guardian. 20 September 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  27. ^ "Robin Thicke's Blurred Lines gets banned at another university". The Guardian. 12 November 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  28. ^ "Blurred Lines banned by University College London Union". BBC. 4 November 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  29. ^ Denham, Jess (6 November 2013). "They know they don't want it: More universities ban Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'". The Independent. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  30. ^ "Exeter Respect Concert Cancelled As Tim Westwood Tells Students: 'Keep Your P***ies Tight And Clean'". HuffPost. 21 October 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  31. ^ "'He said some very inappropriate things given how old he is': Former Radio 1 DJ Tim Westwood, 56, criticised by freshers for 'sexist and vulgar' show at university gig". Daily Mail. 11 October 2013. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  32. ^ Crofts, Hannah (1 February 2016). "Meet the Reading third year who got Ian Beale tattooed on her thigh". The Tab. Tab Media Ltd. Retrieved 8 September 2017. 
  33. ^ "We spoke to Reading's 'Ian Beale Girl' about going viral". University of Reading. 2016-03-09. Retrieved 2017-11-07. 
  34. ^ "How The Tab dominated Fleet Street". The Tab. Archived from the original on 2013-10-15. 
  35. ^ a b Khomami, Nadia (2017-02-10). "Cambridge student filmed burning cash in front of homeless man". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  36. ^ "Homeless man slams Cambridge Uni student who burnt £20 note under his nose". The Sun. 2017-02-10. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  37. ^ "Cambridge University student who boasted of being related to Nicola Sturgeon filmed burning £20 note in front of homeless person". The Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-08-31. 
  38. ^ "Sun April Fool BNP Nick Griffin". The Guardian. 
  39. ^ "Were you fooled? Cambridge student paper claims Prince William got a third". Daily Express. 1 April 2014. Retrieved 9 September 2017. 
  40. ^ "Disgusting Disrespectful Students Blasted Going Pub Crawl Dressed Alton Towers Smiler Crash Victims Complete Fake Lost Limbs". Daily Mail. 
  41. ^ "Exclusive Interview 7 Legless Group Deny Attempt to Recreate Alton Towers Smiler Crash". Impact Nottingham. 
  42. ^ "We messed up: an apology to the '7 legless' students". The Tab. 
  43. ^ Rawlinson, Kevin (2016-02-14). "The Tab picks up business without paying". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  44. ^ Collins, Jem (22 June 2017). "Anyone else find it quite problematic @TheTab make money out of student writers under the guise of 'training'? http://www.thedrum.com/opinion/2017/06/22/why-the-tab-turning-old-fashioned-the-ground-reporting-and-scoops-engage-young …pic.twitter.com/QwV6zeYuH2". @Jem_Collins on Twitter. Retrieved 2017-11-14.  External link in |title= (help)
  45. ^ "Introducing The Tab National Fellowship 2016". The Tab. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  46. ^ "Babe is looking for new writers across the US". The Tab US. 2017-04-13. Archived from the original on 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  47. ^ "Babe is looking for new writers across the UK". babe. 2017-04-21. Archived from the original on 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 
  48. ^ "Babe is looking for new writers across the US". The Tab US. 2017-04-13. Archived from the original on 2017-11-14. Retrieved 2017-11-14. 

External links

  • The Tab National website
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