Professor of mass media requests "muscle" to block a student reporter from reporting

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Bummer of the story from…The assistant director of Greek Life & Leadership makes $10,000 more per year than an assistant professor of communications…


I’m sympathetic with the protesters, but anyone who thinks the media can be “managed” is fooling themselves. The media has a set of hierarchies it respects and beyond that, they’re going to construct the narrative any way they want, with or without your help.


According to her faculty page

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.


Goodbye, job.


The problem here is the protesters seem to think they can appropriate a public space for their private use.


I called Prof. Click’s office: “Mailbox full.” I sent her an email a few minutes ago.


Your point?


Not, strictly speaking a “problem.” Civil disobedience is exactly that, disobedience. Engaging in things you have a well-established right to isn’t disobedience at all. In this case, shooing journalists isn’t going to help you.


I wondered the same thing.

This bummed me out pretty badly.
They’re clearly pushing the reporter/photographer back. And they’re yelling about him “needing to respect their personal space” (whatever that is…).
And I’m not entirely sure how this is markedly different than police yelling “stop resisting” as they beat the shit out of someone.
Sure- the reporter/photographer didn’t get beaten- but by the legal definitions of the word, he was undoubtably assaulted. They’re convinced yelling the same untrue things at him (over & over) changes the reality of the situation. They just used a mob to block a student from taking pictures. Their either a) wildly ignorant of the laws regarding use of public space (and the expectations of privacy that this doesn’t afford) or b) don’t care.
At best, it’s a short-sighted strategy in dealing with the media.
At worst, it’s a group of thugs building on group-think to bully someone (who, it appears, had no actual agenda other than to document).
So there are (at least) two documented instances of staff at this college assaulting a student reporter. I wonder what will come of that.


She like’s Lady Gaga maybe, and so she can’t be all bad?

Not speaking for the OP in any way, but I am guessing that the “point” was to show that Melissa Click is a lightweight lacking in reasoning skills, as evidenced by calling for muscle to remove a video journalist from a public space because he was not to her liking. But what the fuck do I know, right?


Yeah, I’m clearly not a fan of her actions here-
but her documented actions have nothing to do with her academic work (other than to be further proof that she should know better…).
Studying societies reflection of itself through the lens of popular culture is a worthy thing- I might disagree about wanting to have anything to do with study regarding 50 Shades of Grey, but that doesn’t mean she’s a “lightweight” by any stretch.


Fox News will offer Professor Click a job as an expert on the First Amendment.


Based upon the video I saw, I believe that employment repercussions are in order for Melissa Click (the assistant professor of mass media) and Janna Basler (the director of Greek life and leadership). It is one thing for students to exercise their free speech and assembly rights, it is an entirely different matter for a university employees to commit assault upon journalists.


I can only assume that because of her topic of interest, @GiantRobotPilot inevitable that she’d say something like this and try to shut down a journalist - but that’s silly.

In general, it seems like she was attempting to do what the protesters themselves asked for, which was a space away from the journalists in general. She also wrote this a few years ago and it makes some interesting points:

Do we think the news media, even student run media is objective?

Maybe, but I didn’t get that sense… it was more like it was dismissive. Like, because she studies mass culture, she’s not a serious person.


According to that heavy article “The Organizers of Concerned Student 1950 Have Asked the Media to Stay Out of Their ‘Safe Space’”

Concerned Student 1950 is the “The activist group has led in the fight to end racial hostility at the University of Missouri.”

So… while personally I think the idea of a “safe space”, especially on public grounds, is rather silly, I realize that it is a real thing on today’s campuses. So is this liberal ideals colliding? Like a “can’t have your cake and eat it too” sort of thing? You can’t call for open and honest transparency of what is going on, and then try to create a private area in the middle of a public protest?

While I don’t think she handled it correctly, it appears to me it at least is coming from the “right side”.


Except that mass media/culture is ubiquitous and thus should be understood, not just dismissed as “not serious”. Billions of dollars that flow through the culture industries MAKE it serious, not to mention the time and energy people focus on it. [ETA] I don’t think anyone here would deny that Star Wars or Star Trek deserve serious consideration - why is 50 Shades of Gray or Lady Gaga any different?

But back on the topic, the students protesting didn’t want the media there. Whether that’s right or not is one question, but she was not just pushing the journalist away for fun, but because she was asked to do so.

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Does it matter? Are you actually saying that objectivity is a requirement for the press to exercise its freedoms?

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