prof. e.

Mass Communication, [multi]media, methodology and much, much more!

I Need Some Muscle Over Here

Posted by prof e on November 15, 2015

Rarely is the 1st Amendment on such public display as it has been in recent days at the University of Missouri. On the bright side, the right to free speech, to peaceably assemble, and to petition Congress for a redress of grievances has been front and center. But so too has been some pretty ugly behavior that makes one wonder if people really understand why press freedom is such an important part of the 1st Amendment.

A video of the demonstration contains a startling statement (at 6:30)…and even more so when you realize who said it!

According to the New York Times,

As the video nears its end, the person taking the video, Mark Schierbecker, emerged from the scrum and approached a woman, later identified as an assistant professor of mass media, Melissa Click, close to the tents. When he revealed that he was a journalist, Ms. Click appeared to grab at his camera.

She then yelled, “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here.”

In what may provide some consolation to journalists and 1st Amendment supporters, Ms. Click resigned her position with the School of Journalism the following day.

Again, according to the NYT,

Mitchell S. McKinney, the chairman of the department of communication, released his own statement, saying: “We applaud student journalists who were working in a very trying atmosphere to report a significant story. Intimidation is never an acceptable form of communication.”

You can watch the full video here

In this version of the video the confrontation is @ the 7:15 mark

Jan 27, 2016 update: The Chronicle of Higher Education published an article that explores the content of Melissa Click’s email inbox in the days after the incident.


One Response to “I Need Some Muscle Over Here”

  1. LIU PENGJIU (Percy) said

    Press freedom is a noble idea, but in reality it is a threat, a threat to shady politicians, crooked corporations, military censors and building bureaucrats who try to promote their own welfare by restricting the free flow of information.
    When Mark Schierbecker who was filming a confrontation between protesters and a young photojournalist refused to leave the scene of the event, Melissa Click grabbed at his camera, then shouted, “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here!”

    Her rude behaviors were preventing the news from going forward. The power of media was appeared once again in this event. Click should read First Amendment carefully. Because of the media, the societies are becoming transparent. Good reporters respect the integrity of facts. Sometimes, truths are terrible, but the audiences need to know it, we have to face the reality.

    On the other hand, journalists should remember that ethical journalism should be accurate and fair. Journalists should be honest and courageous in gathering, reporting and interpreting information. A professional journalist should void undercover or other surreptitious methods of gathering information unless traditional, open methods will not yield information vital to the public and balance the public’s need for information against potential harm or discomfort. Pursuit of the news id not a license for arrogance or undue intrusiveness.

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