Mizzou students deal blow to racism, then 1st Amendment

The president of the University of Missouri system resigned yesterday after weeks of protest over racial tension on campus.

Many student protesters — known as Concerned Students 1950 –had built a tent village on campus, a public location. Then they stuck up signs declaring it a no-media zone.

That’s not how public space works, however.

Reporters tried to talk to members of the football team, whose boycott of an upcoming game and economic clout prompted the university’s president to resign. They were blocked from doing so and, eventually, shoved away.

“They’re not the story,” a woman shouted. “Talk to your average black student.”

Why is this significant? Because the University of Missouri is the oldest and largest public college for journalists, and the woman attempting the civic censoring is an assistant professor of mass media at Mizzou.

Tim Tai, a photographer/reporter for the Columbia Missourian but on assignment for ESPN, is one of several reporters who were assaulted. He’d done an incredible job photographing the showdown for days.

Then he became the enemy.

“Hey hey! Ho ho! Reporters have got to go!” the group shouted, a sentiment no doubt shared by thousands of people in the United States who don’t understand why they exist in the first place.

Leading the chant was Melissa Click, an assistant professor at the university, who had posted a message on Facebook three days ago asking the media for help covering the protest.

“I don’t think everyone there is super anti-media, but I think there’s misunderstanding about what we do,” Tai told the Los Angeles Times.

“We’re documenting historic events with our photographs, and when people are crying and hugging when Wolfe resigns, it becomes a personal issue that people all over the country can connect with,” Tai told the New York Times. “It’s my job to help connect those people to what’s going on.”

“Sincere congratulations to someone who this morning had no idea he would be in the national eye,” The Atlantic’s James Fallow writes. “But he turned out to be, and behaved in a way that reflects credit on him and the calling of news-gathering.”

cs1950

Update 1:36 p.m. The dean of the School of Journalism, David Kurpius, has posted this statement:

From the desk of David Kurpius, dean of the Missouri School of Journalism:

The Missouri School of Journalism is proud of photojournalism senior Tim Tai for how he handled himself during a protest on Carnahan Quad on the University of Missouri campus.

University of Missouri System President Tim Wolfe and University of Missouri-Columbia Chancellor R. Bowen Loftin both resigned on Nov. 9 after complaints and protests of their leadership. Tai was covering the event as a freelancer for ESPN when protesters blocked his access through physical and verbal intimidation.

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

Also, for clarification, Assistant Professor Melissa Click, featured in several videos confronting journalists, is not a faculty member in the Missouri School of Journalism.

She is a member of the MU Department of Communication in the College of Arts and Science. In that capacity she holds a courtesy appointment with the School of Journalism. Journalism School faculty members are taking immediate action to review that appointment.

The events of Nov. 9 have raised numerous issues regarding the boundaries of the First Amendment. Although the attention on journalists has shifted the focus from the news of the day, it provides an opportunity to educate students and citizens about the role of a free press.

Update 1:51 p.m. – KBIA reporter Bram Sable-Smith, who told the photographer, “there’s nothing to be gained from this,” recorded this essay.

Update 2:12 p.m. Mizzou protesters are talking to the press again, and here’s what they’re saying (Fusion)

Update 2:53 p.m. – Klyle Stokes, a journalist and Minnesota native who writes about public journalism, writes about why reporters cover events such as this.

You want us there so you can always remember exactly how it was that day we all gathered on Carnahan Quad to celebrate — of all things — the end of a pestilence; that we partied like Mizzou Football was No. 1 again; that we danced for joy that cancer would soon claim its last life.

Who does this job? Journalists. On their good days. On our good days. We do this job. We live to cover that cancer cure, that World Series win, that school defying the odds, that time the little guy — once, just once — stuck it to the man.

On our bad days, we ask the Klan what the f*** they’re doing in our town. We ask the displaced disaster victim what they need right now — water? food? shelter? blankets? How can the watching world help you at this very moment? We ask the politician why he squandered our money — and we feel like an ass doing it because we ambush him and stick the mic in his face. But this elected douchebag has been dodging the voicemails and emails and knocks on his door that all of you — that’s you, again; all of you reading this — absolutely did not have the time, wherewithal, gumption or resources to carry out.

Update 10:32 pm The communications professor has issued an apology.

IMG_20151110_223056

Related: Campus Activists Weaponize ‘Safe Space’ (The Atlantic)

  • Gary F

    Micro-agressions, free speech zones, now no media zones. Have we coddled these kids so much that they can’t defend their views with a person who thinks otherwise? I thought that’s what kids were supposed to learn in college.

    • ec99

      They are learning that any opinion other than their own is to be prohibited.

    • lindblomeagles

      I think we need to be careful about judging Mizzou students here. A lot of the student protestors were African American students. Which African American protests have received negative media coverage in the past few years? Well, “Black Lives Matter” still does; the Ferguson Missouri protests after Michael Brown was killed did, and the Baltimore protests following the cops who allowed Freddie Young to die did as well. We’re talking about a group of African American students KEENLY AWARE that the media often does not convey Black nonviolent protestors in a good light or image. Their campus life, the African American students, for them, is a serious issue. They want changes. They don’t want to be perceived, Gary, as coddled kids, which is exactly how you described them in your post. They have moved far beyond “discussion” with people, like you and I, who don’t live and have to work and study in that environment. You and I don’t know what it is like to be a Black University of Missouri student. The students do, however, and they want to be taken seriously; not “talked at” as if their view of the situation is grossly inaccurate. For them, this is not up for debate, conjecture, or argument. I’m guessing, they are probably right. Again, you and I don’t live there. You and I really don’t know what’s going on down there.

      • Nathan Merrill

        They are coddled kids. That’s just reality.

        The Baltimore riots and the Ferguson riots looked bad because they WERE bad. Rioting never looks good – and rioting is exactly what took place.

        Peaceful protests will always – and rightly – be overshadowed by people with the “same cause” rioting, setting things on fire, and looting stores.

        The reality is that these people look bad because of reality, not because of the media.

        The Ferguson protests were a large number of black people protesting because a black criminal was killed by a cop he attacked.

        That’s just reality. There’s no way of making that look good. If a bunch of white people marched in protest of a black police officer killing a white criminal in self-defense, no one would have any problem branding them as racists.

        If you can’t stand up to the light of scrutiny, it means you aren’t so good.

  • John O.

    The technology barriers that used to exist in “traditional” newsgathering and disseminating information are relics. Anyone with a smartphone can take a photo, video or type a message that is “raw” and have it available globally within seconds. With that said, I still believe there is a place for more “traditional” newsgathering.

    We seem to have a lot of people who believe that the First Amendment belongs to “them,” but not to anyone with a different point-of-view. As an information consumer, it is MY responsibility to read (or view), analyse and decide for myself what point-of-view fits me.

    My question to the folks at Mizzou in this “Media-Free Zone” would simply be, “What are you afraid of?”

    • The notion that newsgathering is dead because anyone can take a video with a smartphone or tweet out “information” is a common one. But it assumes that journalism is stenography. I think the ability to (a) see a story (b) recognize it as a story and (c) tell a story is always going to have a place.

      Point and click at something happening in plain sight? Yeah, anyone can do that.

      But most stories aren’t in plain sight.

      • John O.

        You’re correct–most stories aren’t in plain sight. But there are those who will not only question the motives of trained journalist, but will also castigate them at length because they perceive the coverage is (or will be) slanted one way or another.

      • Vintage59

        Actually, Bob, it assumes that someone will have a device to record whatever happens where ever it happens. That’s why crowd-sourced media can and does compete with journalists. Even a stenographer might be taking dictation that matters. Maybe only once in a lifetime, maybe never but the mathematics is on the side of the amateurs here.

        • I don’t disagree. Amateurs are well positioned to document the news that’s out in the open and hard to screw up.

    • Ken

      >My question to the folks at Mizzou in this “Media-Free Zone” would simply be, “What are you afraid of?”

      What a strange question to ask, and shows you don’t really understand the situation. The fact that most media coverage of this event has failed to provide context of course doesn’t help. Students had been camping out in that area for about a week in solidarity with the hunger strike, and they didn’t want press hounding their campsite when the resignation announcement occurred. The blockade only lasted a couple hours after the announcement. They weren’t trying to “hide” anything from the press, they just wanted a moment of peace .

      Sure they weren’t technically legally entitled to that peace, but so what? This is not some grand assault on first amendment rights. The hooplah over this is ridiculous and it’s sad how it’s overshadowing the real news.

      • The broader story was and is being covered widely, contextually and completely. Nothing overshadowed it. The resignations were have been the lead story for days.

      • John O.

        Here’s my takeaway:
        \Sure they weren’t technically legally entitled to that peace, but so what?
        No, they weren’t legally entitled to that. Oh, and I do understand the larger issue. Thanks for playing. Have a nice day.

        • Correct. There’s no constitutional right to walk into someone else.

          I think Justice Holmes pretty much covered that.

      • Nathan Merrill

        The real news is that we need to give college kids a reality adjustment.

        Some of their demands are impossible, implausible, or undesirable.

        For example, they are demanding that the university hire about 400 more black faculty members. But the reality is that blacks only make up about 4% of people with PHDs, well below the 10% that is being demanded by the students.

  • >>Leading the chant was Melissa Click, an assistant professor at the university, who had posted a message on Facebook three days ago asking the media for help covering the protest.<<

    Sorry, you can't have it both ways.

    • Fred, Just Fred

      For what it’s worth, Ms. Click did her doctoral dissertation on Martha Stewert. True fact.

      I’m of the opinion that STEM departments should secede from Universities altogether.

      • And that’s a *good thing.

      • crystals

        There’s plenty to criticize here without a) making fun of someone’s dissertation topic, which I’m guessing you haven’t read; or b) asserting that STEM fields of study are the only ones that matter. Do better.

        • Fred, Just Fred

          Actually, I did, read it…well as much as I could take. You can read it too:
          http://scholarworks.umass.edu/dissertations_1/42/

          I happen to think her choice of scholarly research has value in that it helps understand the mind-set of a J school Prof that is in favor of censoring the media; violently if necessary.

          My comment regarding STEM fields was not meant to suggest there are no other worthy areas of study, just emoting for myself and my peers the shame of being associated with universities that engage in this sort of embarrassing behavior.

          • crystals

            Can I introduce you to Geoff Marcy? The point is, all fields have brilliant people who do stupid things. Pretending as though you and your STEM peers are on a pedestal and exempt from doing stupid things (that can make people not want to be associated with you either) is silly.

            http://www.latimes.com/local/abcarian/la-me-ra-abcarian-astronomer-resigns-20151019-column.html

          • Fred, Just Fred

            In this case, anecdotes belie your purpose. When you see a crowd of dozens of astronomers on the Quad proclaiming their right to sexually harass women, get back to me.

          • Tim

            She’s not a professor of journalism, she’s a professor of communications, and they are separate departments at Mizzou (it should be noted that Mizzou’s J-school faculty is rather unhappy with her right now).

          • Fred, Just Fred

            Oh, well that makes it much better….

  • MrE85

    “Civic censoring?” As you’ve pointed out before, it’s only censorship if it’s official, and this group of tent-dwelling protesters don’t count.
    While I disagree with what the protesters did, no one is ever obligated to talk to a reporter.

    • I would urge you to watch the video because in no way, shape, or form is the issue here an insistence that someone HAS to talk to a reporter. No one has made that claim. At. All.

      Secondly, if you’re a public employee, standing on public ground, denying a right, you’re the government in the same vein that a football coach at a public school demanding to lead a prayer is.

      • MrE85

        Tai was making demands (or polite requests, if you will), but the way he was treated was reprehensible. The fact that he’s a student makes it even worse.

        • He wasn’t making ANY demands other than asserting a constitutional right to cover a story. You don’t DEMAND your rights. You have them. Nobody gives them to you. You have them.

  • Thomas Mercier

    Call in the drones. 😉

    • Kurt O

      Is that the 21st century of “Send in the Clowns”?

  • MikeB

    As to fear of media or any push back on your ideas or messaging, we see it from presidential candidates, corporate leaders, school administrators, local elected officials, and yes, colleges kids. Perhaps in their wish to be in a safe bubble they are emulating their elders.

    The concept of public spaces is obviously missed by these students. This is where they (are supposed to) learn. But no excuses for a mass media professor, who has shredded any professional credibility.

  • Bill Smith 999935

    I am calling for her resignation. Is the football team with me? Are they going to sit out until she resigns?

  • John S

    I am disappointed to see how safe spaces are being used. In college as a gay man, we used safe spaces as a way for people to relax, drop their guard, and feel comfortable. What made our safe space different than those popping up in the media nowadays is gay men and women were facing actual hostility in the world, and the safe space provided a safe, in the traditional sense of the word, open area.

    Today? These kids are not facing the hostility which created these spaces. They’re facing the normal world.

    • Was the safe space a public space? The purpose of a space doesn’t change the right to photograph a public space.

      • John S

        Not really. It was within a room available to the public, and welcomed everyone. However, a safe space was a way to get away from the public. That was the whole idea of a safe space!

        This new way is a bastardization, and I agree with you on the 1st Amendment. I believe we had a member of the student press come to a meeting once.

        • I see. And that, of course, is different from this in which a group pitches tents in the most public space possible, so that they can be visible, so that their story will be out there… and then declares it off-limits because it’s private space except for reporters of certain races. The mind fairly boggles.

        • Vintage59

          As a gay man who preceded you to college we had no safe places on campus. The one and only safe places were certain bars. The new way is always a bastardization.

          I really have to state how disappointed I am that you think you had it tougher than these students. Their normal world IS hostile in many respects and you are completely wrong to insist they have it easier than you did. It undermines every point you may try to make.

          Embrace their struggle for it is our struggle. Details are different, that is all.

  • raymarshall

    “ConcernedStudent1950
    ‏@CS_1950
    It’s typically white media who don’t understand the importance of respecting black spaces.”

    One of the most racist statements that I have ever read. What will they do when students decide to go after a tenured professor for being a tough grader?

  • nnyl

    The First Amendent applies to government not restricting speech or the press. It has nothing to do with a non-government group. Reporters are generally directed to a specific person chosen to speak for groups, organizations, corporations, etc.

    • No that’s not true at all and I can certainly introduce you to whatever court decision you feel you need as to what the First Amendment — or any other element of the Constitution — is.

      You have a constitutional right to stand on a public spot and take a photograph and it simply does not matter who else is there to tell you you don’t.

      In the meantime, I would refer you to “JOHN J. HURLEY and SOUTH BOSTON ALLIED WAR VETERANS COUNCIL, PETITIONERS v. IRISH AMERICAN GAY, LESBIAN AND BISEXUAL GROUP OF BOSTON, etc., et al.” (https://www.law.cornell.edu/supct/html/94-749.ZO.html)

      … which established (reiterated actually) the elements you need to assert First Amendment protections when photographing in the public square.

      This notion that only if the government is a named party to a violation of constitutional rights does the constitution apply is simply an incorrect — although widely held — one (See “Accommodation, Public.”).

      In this particular case, Concerned Students 1950 was asserting the power to grant First Amendment rights to the individuals of their choosing. That’s not how it works. Not even close to how it works.

      • Peter S.

        There is no constitutional right to “stand on a public spot and take a photograph.” The reality is more nuanced than that.

        The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

        In other words, the right protected by the Constitution is the right not to have your freedom of speech unreasonably limited by the government. Emphasis on government. These students were not the government, so the First Amendment simply did not come into play, and the title of your article is misleading.

        At most, you have an argument that the teachers involved were acting in their official capacity as government employees when they forced the reporter to leave. I seriously doubt the university (or even the teachers) would agree.

        • Rich Ahrens

          On what do you base your constitutional claim? There is ample case law disagreeing with you. Taking photographs and video of things that are plainly visible in public spaces is a constitutional right

          • Peter S.

            I base it on the text of the First Amendment. The First Amendment only protects citizens from censorship by the government, not by other citizens. I’m not aware of any case that holds otherwise.

            The case cited by Mr. Collins is not on point. It held that a state court could not require parade organizers to include a gay/lesbian/bisexual float in their parade. https://www.oyez.org/cases/1994/94-749

            What case law are you referring to?

          • The case I cited did exactly what I said it did.

            To achieve First Amendment protection, a plaintiff must show that he possessed: (1) a message to be communicated; and (2) an audience to receive that message, regardless of the medium in which the message is to be expressed.

            “So speech or conduct (taking photographs) that satisfies both of the elements above is allowed and protected in the ‘public forum,’” according to the First Amendment Center.

            The point the Center makes is that while there are no specific declarations from SCOTUS on photography in the public square, there are a series of decisions upon which to base the assertion.

            http://www.firstamendmentcenter.org/photography-the-first-amendment

          • Peter S.

            The two-part test you cite is meaningless without context. The context in First Amendment cases is always some GOVERNMENT action restraining speech. Government action is a threshold requirement to invoke the First Amendment.

          • I don’t really know how much weight to give to your analysis without some information on your background. It’s hard to know whose legal interpretations should hold sway in these matters.

          • Peter S.

            Well, I am a lawyer, but here’s some authority:

            “[T]he constitutional amendments which protect individual rights (especially the Bill of Rights and the 14th Amendment) are mostly phrased as prohibitions against government action. For example, the First Amendment states that “[c]ongress shall make no law” infringing upon the freedoms of speech and religion. Because of this requirement, it is impossible for private parties (citizens or corporations) to violate these amendments, and all lawsuits alleging constitutional violations of this type must show how the government (state or federal) was responsible for the violation of their rights. This is referred to as the state action requirement.”

            https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/state_action_requirement

            This is why, to a lawyer at least, the title of your article is a non sequitur–the students, as private citizens, cannot violate the First Amendment. I can understand the press’s indignation at being barred from covering a newsworthy event. But I’m not impressed by attempts to bolster that position with a misplaced appeal to the Constitution.

          • thanks

            So,to summarize: You’re saying there is no right to take a photograph in a public space.

            the reason I’m asking is if freedom comes by way of the bill of rights and the amendment only pertains to direct actions by the government, then it would seem to follow that one’s freedom can only be denied by a government. It cannot be trampled, restricted, or denied by an individual or non government entity. Am I correct in this interpretation?

          • Peter S.

            I’m saying that there’s no *constitutional* right to take a photograph in a public space, unless it’s the government that’s trying to prevent it.

            It’s possible that what the students did here violated some other law, regulation, or principle. Criminal laws would prohibit them from assaulting photographers…if their actions met the legal definition of assault.

          • I understand. I think that if a group of reporters joined hands and marched into the group Mizzou students while they were attempting to voice their demands, thus preventing them from doing do, I would consider it a blow to free speech, even if they could only be prosecuted on a criminal complaint.z

            Had the Charlie Hebdo murderous rampage occurred on U.S. soil, I would similarly consider it a blow to the principles of the First Amendment.

          • Peter S.

            Yes, those examples are certainly a blow to free speech in the broader sense.

            Personally, I’m more concerned about private censorship by large corporations. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Corporate_censorship

          • Oh, man, no argument there. It’ll all be in my book. :*)

    • Nathan Merrill

      It is illegal for private groups or organizations to attempt to deny someone else their civil rights. In fact, it is a felony:

      Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
      Conspiracy Against Rights

      This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

      It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured.

      Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death.

  • Jerry

    What’s amazing is how their complete mishandling of this has achieved what they least wanted to achieve. The story is no longer racism on campus, and is rather about the free press. That’s a bad miscalculation on the part of someone who should know better.

  • Fred, Just Fred

    Evidently, some parents find $30k per year to take their whiny little brats off their hands a real bargain.

  • Is it that the protesters believe media coverage violates their privacy? If so, why are the protesters not protesting themselves for posting stuff to Twitter, Instagram, etc.?

    😉

  • kevins

    I was on fan-cam last Saturday at the U of M/Mich. game….great seats, first row endzone left…saw the last fade pass up close. My daughter captured the still image and emailed it to me. It’s not the most complimentary image, but I won’t protest.

  • “Everyone has a right to their beliefs” is now interpreted as “My beliefs are under attack because other people have different opinions.” The latter kind of thinking also includes a perceived right to one’s own facts. It’s group-think at its worst, with a public face and an audience of sycophants on social media.

  • Vintage59

    Spoiled children.

    It’s not the exclusive province of white people anymore.

  • Doug Duwenhoegger

    So were the repelled journalist kept away from the football players at the football players request? No one is required to speak to the media or be filmed. From this very short story we don’t really know anything. It does seem like there were lots of non-football players willing to talk. It’s just no one cares about them only about football. Hence the local reporter stringing for ESPN not his local station.

    • Vintage59

      They don’t need permission. If you don’t want media coverage just go to a private space. Even in an age of dumbed-down education that can’t be that hard to understand.

      You are required to be filmed if you stand in public. Your legal option is to walk away.

      • Doug Duwenhoegger

        Pretty sure this 250 word article didn’t say anything about filming but about talking to a football player. Even this story said the reporter had done a good job of photographing the protest. Then when they wanted to interview people they were denied. Nuance is a crazy thing isnt it?

        • Vintage59

          I was replying to you. You mentioned being filmed, Doug.

          Football does matter, as we have seen. Sadly for many Americans it matters more than the death of someone they never knew. Money matters, too. Mizzou would have owed Brigham Young $1,000,000 if their team didn’t show up on Saturday.

        • No one is required to talk to a reporter. That isn’t the issue, although the dispute yesterday started with reporters asking to. It was then elevated to not allowing a newsperson to take a picture of the camp.

          If you watch the video, you will know that the reporter was asserting his constitutional right to take a picture of a protest in a public square.

          Whether anyone does or doesn’t care about football players, science majors or anyone else is irrelevant to that point.

          • Doug Duwenhoegger

            If I need to watch the video why am I reading your story?

          • Because it’s part of the story and I presume you want to be well informed.

          • Doug Duwenhoegger

            So this isn’t MPRNews its MPR link aggregation. You aren’t reporting anything you are linking to news sources and video. I think I’m going to stop following NPR on digital media as it is really just click bait at this point. And a place for retired white men to vent.

          • This is a blog, yes, and because it’s a blog, it includes links and other sources. That’s pretty much what blogs do. And it also provides a forum for respectful and civilized conversations involving principled arguments. It’s not really a place where we’re particularly impressed by who can drop the mic and insult others for being either black or white, young or old.

            So it’s up to you whether such a place is your kind of thing or not. If you stay, great. If you go, we’ll be fine and try to carry on without your valuable input as best we can..

            It’s not NPR so I don’t really know what relevance whether you do or don’t follow NPR on digital media has for you.

          • Doug Duwenhoegger

            So first why would you ever mention National Public Radio as I did not refer to them at all.

            Second @MPRNEWS links to your “Blog” as if it is actually news on both Twitter and on Facebook. You make want to start making a clearer distinction that this is commentary and not news as it is being portrayed by MPR, as in Minnnesota Public Radio. Again this has nothing to do with National Public Radio and if I was less forgiving I would think you intentionally are muddying the waters by introducing irrelevant confusing information.

          • //So first why would you ever mention National Public Radio as I did not refer to them at all.

            I think I’m going to stop following NPR on digital media

            do you have something to contribute to the discussion on the issue that’s being discussed in this space now?

  • Worth noting that ConcernedStudent1950 has deleted its tweets

    they can now be found at https://twitter.com/CS_1950

    • Vintage59

      Given their level of experience it’s not surprising that they fumbled but I hope they learn from this experience. By “they” I mean students everywhere. We can’t create the new world for them. As always, they must find their own way.

      Those who were actually in college in 1950 must have shaken their heads thirty years ago just as much as we are now.

  • RTNDA check in.
    http://rtdna.org/article/inexcusable_behavior

    Admittedly, tensions can run high in situations like these—but there is absolutely no justification for these kinds of actions. Teachers are supposed to set examples from which students can learn. This is clearly a lesson in how not to do that. RTDNA wholeheartedly supports the student journalists who were setting their own examples—good ones—about how to cover the news and not be deterred in their efforts to do so.

  • I’ve added this above but this is quite an incredible essay by a reporter at the Mizzou radio station.

    I’m particularly intrigued by his comment on demonstrators playing to the worst racial stereotypes when they called for black men to come push the reporters away.

    https://soundcloud.com/kbia/kbia-reporter-reflects-on-being-inside-confrontation-between-reporters-and-mu-demonstrators

  • A really good read from a former professor of the young man in the video, courtesy of the Columbia Journalism Review. “Sometimes you have to put down the camera,” he told his former prof. “But this is not one of those times.”

    “I don’t have ill will toward the professors, staff, and students. I think they had good intentions but were very passionate, and I wish we could both learn something from the encounter. But, at the end of the day, the constitution is the constitution, and I’m dismayed that [faculty and staff] didn’t understand that.”

    This kid is everything we all say we want about journalism.

    The prof notes, correctly, that the adults are everything we don’t want in educators.

    http://www.cjr.org/united_states_project/university_of_missouri_protests_first_amendment.php

  • Tiffany Vang

    There is an extreme form of liberalism that has censored other opinions even within their own movement. This in itself is no different from the bigotry and racism used to quiet the voices of minorities. There is a very real problem of racism, subtle or not, in colleges that needs to be dealt with. It’s a person’s right to freedom of speech even if racist, and there’s the right to protest it, which is what we are seeing and changes that are going to be put in place. BUT Let the media do its job. Even extreme liberalism is not morally superior to that of conservatism and the Republican party.

  • Nathan Merrill

    Wouldn’t this constitute a violation of federal law? FBI Summary:

    Title 18, U.S.C., Section 241
    Conspiracy Against Rights

    This statute makes it unlawful for two or more persons to conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person of any state, territory or district in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him/her by the Constitution or the laws of the United States, (or because of his/her having exercised the same).

    It further makes it unlawful for two or more persons to go in disguise on the highway or on the premises of another with the intent to prevent or hinder his/her free exercise or enjoyment of any rights so secured.

    Punishment varies from a fine or imprisonment of up to ten years, or both; and if death results, or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years, or for life, or may be sentenced to death.

    Actual text:

    If two or more persons conspire to injure, oppress, threaten, or intimidate any person in any State, Territory, Commonwealth, Possession, or District in the free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege secured to him by the Constitution or laws of the United States, or because of his having so exercised the same; or

    If two or more persons go in disguise on the highway, or on the premises of another, with intent to prevent or hinder his free exercise or enjoyment of any right or privilege so secured—

    They shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both; and if death results from the acts committed in violation of this section or if such acts include kidnapping or an attempt to kidnap, aggravated sexual abuse or an attempt to commit aggravated sexual abuse, or an attempt to kill, they shall be fined under this title or imprisoned for any term of years or for life, or both, or may be sentenced to death.