Mizzou Communications Prof Calls for ‘Muscle’ Against Student Journalist

Mark Schierbecker/YouTube
Mark Schierbecker/YouTube

On a day of chaos at the University of Missouri — where both the school’s president and chancellor resigned after weeks of campus disruptions by students inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement — was also a day of media censorship.

Following in the media-hostile tradition of Black Lives Matter, a student journalist named Tim Tai, who was working for ESPN, was accosted and intimidated by the crowd, who attempted to block him from doing his work. When he pointed out he had the right to be there, the mob continued to surround him and other journalists trying to report on the University of Missouri story.

At the end of the video, a woman approaches student photojournalist Mark Schierbecker in a public space. Video shows her apparently trying to grab his camera and then calling for “muscle” to remove him.

However, as a Twitter user pointed out, the woman calling for muscle is none other than University of Missouri Communications Assistant Professor Melissa Click.


Her faculty page describes Ms. Click thusly:

Dr. Melissa A. Click earned her Ph.D. from the Department of Communication at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst. Her research interests center on popular culture texts and audiences, particularly texts and audiences disdained in mainstream culture. Her work in this area is guided by audience studies, theories of gender and sexuality, and media literacy. Current research projects involve 50 Shades of Grey readers, the impact of social media in fans’ relationship with Lady Gaga, masculinity and male fans, messages about class and food in reality television programming, and messages about work in children’s television programs. Melissa is Vice-Chair of ICA’s Popular Communication Division and is Chair of the committee hosting the Console-ing Passions conference at the University of Missouri in April 2014.

Melissa’s excellence in the classroom has been recognized by the MU Chancellor’s Committee on the Status of Women (Tribute to Women, 2004), the Intercollegiate Communication Association/iCom (Outstanding Professor, 2007), MU’s College of Arts & Sciences (Purple Chalk Award, 2007), Lamda Pi Eta (Honorary membership, 2008). In 2010, she received the Provost’s Outstanding Junior Faculty Teaching Award. MU’s Association of Communication Graduate Students have recognized her as an “Outstanding Mentor” (2011) and as “Graduate Advisor of the Year” (2013).

Frequently Taught Courses:
Comm 4618/7618 – Television Program Analysis and Criticism
Comm 4638 – New Technologies and Communication
Comm 4975 – Visual Literacy
Comm 8110 – Intro to Graduate Studies
Comm 8150 – Seminar in Television Criticism
Comm 9530 – Topics in Mass Communication: Cultural Studies, Audiences, & Fans

No word on whether Ms. Click will face sanctions or face criminal prosecution for her actions, or whether she will be teaching a course in Introduction to Sick Irory 101.

Follow investigative reporter and Citizen Journalism Boot Camp founder Lee Stranahan on Twitter at @Stranahan.


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