Safe spaces

Media professor resigns after being seen in video trying to suppress news photographer

A professor just got a swift and harsh lesson in the power of the very topic she’s charged with teaching students about. Melissa Click, an assistant communications professor at the University of Missouri, who was seen in a YouTube video joining students in trying to prevent another Missouri student from taking photos of a protest in the university’s quad, has resigned from her post at the university. “Who wants to help me get this reporter out of here? I need some muscle over here,” Click could be heard shouting on the video, about a student photographer who was on assignment for ESPN and had been taking heat from numerous demonstrators. The video went viral and many observers, particularly among the national media, lashed out at Click’s attempt to suppress a journalist — and aggressive approach she deployed. Here was a mass media professor at one of the nation’s top journalism school’s attempting to infringe on a reporter’s First Amendment rights, and both traditional and social media pounced.

So, who is Melissa Click? Mashable took a deep dive into who she is, and here are a few interesting anecdotes. First off, Click wasn’t a full-time faculty staff member. She was working on an appointment — a status that the journalism department, in a statement, threatened to revoke. Before the faculty could act, Click resigned and issued an apology. Click has been an assistant professor at the school since 2008 and her lectures often focused on topics such as Lady Gaga, the Twilight movie franchise and the HBO show Entourage‘s effect on perceptions of masculinity.

Interestingly, just a day before her dramatic confrontation with the student photographer, Click had a very different outlook on the mounting protests taking place at the school, according to a post on her Facebook page. In a post on the social media site, she basically courted national journalists with the enticement of “a scoop on this incredible topic.” Her post said, “The story involves the failure of administrators, a student on day 6 of a hunger strike, and creative fearless students. If you can help, please let me know!” Presumably she had little idea at the time about what a pivotal role she would end up playing in the story.

Read the full story at Mashable.

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