The Tab

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The Tab
The Tab's logo
Type Student news site
Format Online
Owner(s) Tab Media Ltd
Editor-in-chief Jack Rivlin
Founded June 2009
Circulation 2,000,000 unique visitors per month
Official website

The Tab is a network of online student newspapers based in England and published by Tab Media Ltd. It was launched at the University of Cambridge and has since expanded to over 40 other universities.[1] The name is both an abbreviation for 'tabloid' and a nickname applied to Cambridge students (from 'Cantabs').

The publication has since ditched the tabloid image in favour of a more modern style. Their main focus is now on good investigative journalism and exclusive news.


2009 - 2012[edit]

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".[2] 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, with Cambridge University's Women's Officer stating "We can do better as a university", whilst the original model asked for the pictures to be removed. The subsequent controversy was picked up by several mainstream British newspapers, and made international headlines.[3][4][5][6]

In 2009, the site's readers voted British National Party leader Nick Griffin "The worst person ever to attend Cambridge University"[7] with 44% of the vote.[8] In early 2010, The Tab ran an April Fool's hoax claiming Griffin had been stripped of his degree. This was subsequently reported by The Sun who believed the claims to be genuine.[9]

In its first year of existence, The Tab made more than 20 appearances in the national media.[10]

In November 2010, The Tab released documents obtained via the Freedom of Information Act detailing recent disciplinary procedures enacted across the University.[11][12] Details from the documents released were then reported by national newspapers, including The Daily Telegraph.[13]

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 - present[edit]

In Autumn 2012, The Tab expanded to 12 other British universities. Backed by external investment, Rivlin and Marangos-Gilks aim to build a mass circulation online paper for students across the country. They have since expanded their team at Tab HQ to 15[14], reach 2,000,000 monthly readers[15], and operate at over 40 universities[16].

The news site has received praise from multiple journalists, including Louise Mensch and David Dinsmore[17], and has held journalism training events in association with The Telegraph[18].


Tab journalists often go on to work at prestigious news institutions, such as:

Ellie Pithers, The Telegraph
Joshi Herrmann, Evening Standard. Nominated for Young Journalist of the Year at 2013 Press Awards.
Tristan Barclay, Sunday Times
Jack Rivlin, Editor-in-Chief at The Tab and former Evening Standard reporter
Oscar Williams-Grut, Evening Standard
Lauren York, Daily Mail
Wills Robinson, MailOnline
Rachel Moss, Huffington Post UK
Kieran Corcoran, MailOnline
Tabatha Leggett, BuzzFeed
Robert Smith, Thomson Reuters
Alasdair Pal, Thomson Reuters
Phoebe Luckhurst, Evening Standard
Holly Stevenson, Daily Mail
Matt McDonald, Sunday Times
Seb Salek, Sky News
Flo Perry, BuzzFeed
Craig O’Callaghan, Sunday Times
Ali Lewis, Bureau of Investigative Journalism
Milo Yiannopoulos, founder of The Kernel
Sam Dean, Sunday Times
Sanya Burgess, Sunday Times
Rhian Lubin, Daily Mirror
Jonny Singer, Daily Mail
Stephen Wood, Press Association
Justin Guthrie, Sunday Times

Many Tab writers also go on to study postgraduate journalism courses at top universities. The Tab sponsors a £4,500 bursary at City University[19], which boasts one of the best MA Journalism courses in the country.


Major scoops for The Tab included the "milking" craze, which was broken by the Newcastle edition[20] and went around the world.[21] In December 2012, the Bristol title revealed a ban on female speakers at the university's Christian Union.[22]


The Tab was highly commended at the Newspaper Awards in 2012 and 2014[23].


  1. ^ Retrieved 7 November 2013.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  2. ^ a b About Us, The Tab, Cambridge, UK.
  3. ^ Richard Edwards, Cambridge University in 'totty' row, The Telegraph, 29 October 2009.
  4. ^ Rowenna Davis, Cambridge's tawdry tabloid 'totty'. The Guardian, 27 October 2007
  5. ^ James Clothier, Cambridge girls in sexy pics row, The Sun, 30 October 2009.
  6. ^ Nicola Boden, Cambridge University row students set tabloid website complete with Page Three, Daily Mail, 30 October 2009.
  7. ^ The Guardian, Diary, 4 December 2009
  8. ^ Jack Rivlin, "Official: Griffin is Worst Tab", The Tab, 28 November 2009
  9. ^ Sun April fooled by student's BNP story, News Blog, The Guardian, 2 April 2010.
  10. ^ The Tab's Facebook page
  11. ^ Alasdair Pal, Deaned!: Cambridge Discipline Uncovered, Part 1, The Tab, 1 November 2010
  12. ^ Alasdair Pal, Deaned!: Cambridge Discipline Uncovered, Part 2, The Tab, 8 November 2010
  13. ^ Martin Evans, "Discipline files reveal high jinks of Cambridge students", Daily Telegraph, 10 November 2010.
  14. ^ The Tab. "Tab HQ". The Tab. 
  15. ^ @TheTab. "The Tab's Twitter". 
  16. ^ [1], The Tab
  17. ^ "The Tab's Blog". 
  18. ^ "The Tab's Blog". 
  19. ^ "The Tab's Blog". 
  20. ^
  21. ^
  22. ^
  23. ^ "The Tab's Blog". 

External links[edit]