MU assistant professor Melissa Click apologizes after viral video

2 years 1 week 1 day ago Tuesday, November 10 2015 Nov 10, 2015 Tuesday, November 10, 2015 6:34:00 PM CST November 10, 2015 in News
By: Jenna Middaugh and Micheala Sosby, KOMU 8 Digital Producers
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COLUMBIA – MU Assistant Professor Melissa Click issued an apology Tuesday after a video of her confronting a student photographer went viral. The video shows her blocking a student photojournalist from taking pictures of Monday's Concerned Student 1950 demonstrations. 

Click apologized for the way her actions "have shifted attention away from the students' campaign for justice." She also said she apologized directly to a reporter involved, although she did not specify which one. 

In a YouTube video from Mark Schierbecker, Click is shown asking for "muscle" to help remove the photojournalist, identified as Tim Tai. He was on assignment for ESPN and trying to take photos of protesters on MU's Carnahan Quadrangle Monday after UM System President Tim Wolfe resigned.

Click is an assistant professor with the MU Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Science. She is not a part of the Missouri School of Journalism, but holds a courtesy appointment which entails certain benefits such as library access.

Missouri School of Journalism Dean David Kurpius released a statement and sent a tweet about that.

"Journalism School faculty members are taking immediate action to review that appointment," Kurpius said.

 

Kurpius said he was proud of Tai and how he handled himself.

"The news media have First Amendment rights to cover public events. Tai handled himself professionally and with poise," Kurpius said.

The Department of Communication released a statement about Click Tuesday, saying it supports the First Amendment as an overriding principal.

The department also tweeted the statement out.

The confrontation between Click and Tai starts at 6:22. Janna Basler, the assistant director of Greek Life and Leadership at MU, has also come under fire for her interactions with Tai, shown in the video starting at 2:01. 

[Editor's note: This story has been updated to clarify information.]

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