'The Voice' Contestant Uses Reality TV Money To Report On Teens Joining ISIS
A former contestant from 'The Voice' used his money from the reality show to fund his reporting on European teenagers joining ISIS for an upcoming New Yorker cover story.
While 24 year-old Ben Taub may not have made major headlines for singing on the reality show, the money he received from his appearance helped him travel to the Turkish-Syrian border. The trip ultimately led to Taub's investigation, Journey To Jihad, which documents the recruitment and radicalization of European teens by ISIS.
The story also happens to center on one Belgian teen who once appeared on another reality show, Move Like Michael Jackson, before his recruitment to ISIS.
"I basically used the stipend [The Voice] sent us while we were filming the show in California to transition into journalism," Taub admitted on MSNBC's Morning Joe. "So I used it to fund travel into the Turkish-Syrian border in 2013."
Taub's New Yorker article is his graduate thesis from Columbia School of Journalism. He just graduated last week. He also received his undergraduate degree from Princeton where he became interested in journalism after following a girlfriend to Egypt and witnessing some of the Arab Spring.
Taub does wish to clarify that the small stipend was only a part of what helped him write the story. On his Facebook page this morning, he also credits grants from Columbia and Princeton as well as other sources, including the New Yorker, with helping him write the story.
And if you're curious about Taub's singing abilities, you can catch his rendition of Nina Simone's 'Feeling Good' here: