Dan Gilmore / November 11, 2015

Mizzou Prof Resigns After Intimidating Journalist

It’s a strange week at the university known for its journalism.

So far, it’s been a strange week at the university known for its school of journalism. On Monday, a group of student protesters erected tents at the University of Missouri as part of the protests that led the university’s president, Tim Wolfe, to resign. Naturally, a public demonstration at a campus known for its school of journalism will draw journalists — except the demonstrators didn’t want any media attention. They formed a ring around the tent city, pushing back reporters. Mark Schierbecker, a junior at the university, caught the exchange between one student-turned-national-photojournalist Tim Tai. As protesters shouted him down and pushed him, Tai stood his ground, insisting that the same First Amendment that gave students the right to protest gave him the right to photograph. In the last few seconds of the video, Schierbecker slipped through the ring of bleeding heart students and approached someone who appeared to be the adult in the room — only to prove she wasn’t. That would be Dr. Melissa Click, an assistant professor at MU’s Department of Communication, who just happened to have a courtesy appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism. “You need to get out, you need to get out,” Click said, making a grab for the student’s camera. Schierbecker, too, stood his ground. So Click started shouting, “Hey, who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!” The next day, Click resigned from her courtesy appointment. And for good reason: Students practiced more principled journalism than the teacher who claimed to be an expert.

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