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Journalism vs mass communications
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The students at the University of Missouri got the nation’s attention this past week and were successful in ousting the college president, Timothy Wolfe.
Also resigning and apologizing for her behavior was MU assistant professor of mass media Melissa Click, who was caught on video Monday blocking journalists from filming protests by members of the Concerned Student 1950 movement. “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here?” she asks in the video. “I need some muscle over here.”
Actually, Click resigned from her courtesy appointment with the Missouri School of Journalism, which is a separate entity from the Department of Communication, where she is still employed. Apparently she has a bit more to learn about journalism and the First Amendment.
Student journalist Tim Tai tried to photograph the protest and was told by protesters that it was a private party, and the media weren’t welcome. Video shows Tai repeatedly explaining to those blocking him that the First Amendment protects their right to protest and it also protects his right to stand in the same public space and record their protest.
Monday was “an historic day at MU — full of emotion and confusion,” as Click noted in her statement of apology. (Note to Click: Check the AP Stylebook; it was “a historic day.”) Whether the situation improves at MU or not remains to be seen. True journalists – Tim Tai may now be considered among them – will be there to report the outcome.