Media round-up: Leaks, libertarians and trouble at The Tab
The family business
Moaning about ‘special snowflakes’ in national newspapers seems to have become the latest way for right-wing students to make a quick buck.
The latest offering comes from Jacob Furedi, a UCL student and fearless free speech warrior, who took to the pages of the Daily Mail to complain about “the campus ayatollahs ruining [his] student life”.
In it, he cited smoking bans on campus, responsible drinking posters in the student bars, sexual consent classes and UCLU’s cafes celebrating meat-free Mondays as proof that students are being infantilised and wrapped in cotton wool. These, he told us in a full-page polemic, demonstrate the scale of “moral policing of students’ personal lives” that exists in UCL.
There is, Rook notes, a pleasing level of irony in someone calling students whiny and moralistic while complaining in a national paper about not being able to buy a BLT on a Monday. But where did Furious Furedi get his passion for libertarianism from?
To answer that question, look no further than the pages of the Guardian, where one Frank Furedi writes about how trigger warnings at UCL are mollycoddling students. Frank, Emeritus professor of Sociology at the University of Kent, wrote a book on the matter and believes that “hyper-responsible behaviour” is killing off Freshers’ Week. Like father, like son.
Leak and potato
Since she announced her candidacy, Malia Bouattia has faced forceful opposition from The Tab, student media’s answer to the Murdoch empire. Now a number of articles have appeared which clearly use internal information, and rumours are flying about who might be The Tab’s source on the inside.
Current suspects include Robbiie Young, Fergal McFerran and Richard ‘The Fringe’ Brooks. Rook came tantalisingly close to solving the mystery during an encounter with a tipsy Tab hack at UCLU Karaoke night, but the leak still remains unplugged.
Picking up the Tab
But in Tab towers, greater problems may be at hand. Earlier this year, “more than one” assistant editor, two employees from their creative team, and one who works in PR were laid off – mere months after they raised $3m to expand into the US.
This is not the first time the campus news outlet and clickbait hellhole has been in trouble. Two years ago, it came perilously close to closure. Legally, a company must put two notices in the London Gazette, the official public record, before they can be struck off from the Companies House register. A notice from October 2014 states that Tab Media Ltd would be dissolved in three months time.
It is listed as a ‘Compulsory Strike-Off’, which can happen for two reasons: if Companies House believe that they no longer exist, or if they are thought to be in liquidation. A couple of weeks later, a second notice appeared ending the strike-off action, with no further information given. A lucky escape indeed.