Missouri Media Professor Blocks Journalist During Protest

By Kevin Eck 

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An assistant professor of mass media at the University of Missouri took her own stand against freedom of the press yesterday, when she tried to get a student reporter who was covering the protest, removed.

Mark Schierbecker was videotaping still photographer Tim Tai calmly making the case that he had the right to shoot photos of protesters. The students were arguing that Tai was being unethical and disrespectful. Some were chanting, “Hey hey Ho Ho! Reporters have got to go!”

Near the end of the argument, Melissa Click, an assistant professor of mass media at the university known for its journalism school, tried to grab the camera from Schierbecker. Click told Schierbecker, “You need to get out.” When Schierbecker said he didn’t, Click yelled, “Hey! Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here. I need some muscle over here.”

Schierbecker wrote on his YouTube page, “This is what civic-level censorship looks like at a university with the largest and oldest public college for journalism.”

The students were protesting racism on campus. University president Tim Wolfe resigned early Monday following a prolonged hunger strike by graduate student Jonathan Butler and the added pressure of the university’s football team refusing to play this weekend.

>UPDATE: This afternoon a Fusion reporter tweeted the picture below. It is from “the Original #ConcernedStudent1950,” referring to the activist group that has led the protest to end racial hostility on campus, which is apparently now welcoming the media.