Laina Stebbins '18

 

Name: Laina Stebbins

Year: Junior

Major: Journalism

Hometown: Ann Arbor, Michigan

 

Laina Stebbins is co-editor of The Tab Michigan State.

 

What is The Tab Michigan State? How can someone become a member? The Tab Michigan State is a student news site written by Spartans, for Spartans. As one of The Tab’s 70+ campus teams in America, we publish original stories by talented young journalists at MSU. We pride ourselves on being the first to report on campus news, set the campus conversation agenda and give students a voice. Interested writers can either sign up at rosebud.thetab.com or contact me and my co-editor, Emma Moller, at [email protected] and [email protected].

How long have you been co-editor? How did you get this position? I was hired as a local editor last January, after being interviewed by editors from The Tab’s New York headquarters who flew to Michigan to build up campus teams at both MSU and UMich. Our official launch was Feb. 1, 2016.

What are your responsibilities as co-editor? (Along with my lovely co-editor, Emma) I run the campus team, oversee our editorial output and set our editorial vision. I help lead monthly meetings, manage story ideas and pitches, edit articles and provide individual feedback to writers to improve the quality of their reporting, publish stories on our site and plug them on our Facebook page, teach our reporters how to execute stories that will receive the most engagement from their fellow Spartans, and show them how to build organic readership through social media. It’s so rewarding -- I love it.

What are some of your favorite stories that you’ve written for The Tab? "Why supporting Bernie Sanders is NOT anti-feminist," an argumentative piece I wrote during the presidential primary season and "My emotionally abusive relationship made me stronger,” a personal experience piece that I wrote in the hopes of empowering anyone in a similar situation to reclaim their own self-worth.

Besides The Tab, where else have you had stories published? Lansing City Pulse and a bunch of local newspapers around Michigan.

What made you decide to become a journalism major? Writing has always been a talent and necessary creative outlet of mine, but for many years, I resisted the idea of pursuing it as a career. I spent the first two years of my college life trying out nearly every other major possible, before finally realizing that I knew my true calling all along. Journalism is what I’m passionate about.

Are you involved in any other student media or student organizations? I was involved in political student organizations during the election season, but for now, I focus most of my time editing and reporting for The Tab and Capital News Service.

Who is your journalism role model or idol? Rachel Maddow and Lauren Duca, hands down. Also: Ana Kasparian, Ayesha Siddiqi and Nomiki Konst.

What is your journalism dream job? Writing for Vice, Slate, Everyday Feminism, The New Yorker or HuffPo, or working behind the scenes for The Young Turks, MSNBC or the Daily Show.

Any advice for aspiring writers, reporters or editors? Watch the news every day, but also read poetry and Alain de Botton. Keep an open mind, always. Cultivate your passion for finding the truth, and stay hungry for it. Support talented writers around you – ”all the boats rise with the waters.”