Southeast students, faculty respond to Mizzou media confrontatio - KFVS12 News & Weather Cape Girardeau, Carbondale, Poplar Bluff

Southeast students, faculty respond to Mizzou media confrontation video


Students and faculty have plenty to say about Mizzou students vs. the media confrontation video. 

"Hey hey, Ho Ho, Reporters they got to go!"

That's the chant students used to try to force a photojournalist away from the area, students gathered after the resignation of Tim Wolfe. 

"This is a first amendment that protects your right to stand here and it protects mine," said the journalist in defense to the protesters.

The heated confrontation has professors in journalism schools across the nation sharing this video with their students.

Southeast mass media professor Dr. Tamara Zellars Buck is one of them.

"I saw it as a wonderful teaching moment for my students," Dr Zellars Buck said. "For me to be able to tell them 'This is us in action!, this is why you have to know your rights when you're out doing news gathering.'"

Many journalism students say they were impressed at how the journalist stood his ground.

"I think he did a really good job," senior Matthew Mormann said. "He was confident in himself. He knew what he had the right to do and he didn't let them bully him around."

While others say the confrontation was completely uncalled for.

"There was no reason they should have been trying to force him out because of they're protesting, they're protesting for a reason," sophomore Breanna Bleichroth said. "They're protesting because they want people to hear their voices. If they want national coverage and they want the media to help them out then they have to let the media in."

On the video, Mizzou mass media professor Melissa Click is seen asking for "muscle" to help her get a reporter off the lawn.

Students say her effort was counterproductive. 

"Saying, 'No don't take my picture' are also the ones would've been complaining that there was no media coverage, and trying to hear their voices," Bleichroth said.

On Tuesday, Missouri Lt. Gov. Peter Kinder issued this statement on the incident:

“On Sunday I stood by the rights of protesters to have their voices heard while also urging the need for governance by University of Missouri leadership. Today, I’m standing for another First Amendment right, the freedom of the press. Actions on Monday by University faculty and staff to infringe on students’ First Amendment rights directly contradict what is taught at our universities. This incident must be examined, and if found necessary, disciplined.

“Faculty and staff cannot be allowed to pick and choose which rights, viewpoints and freedoms they respect. I renew my call to restore law and order on campus, so the rights of all are protected. The University of Missouri is funded by taxpayers. It is imperative that it be a place where freedom is paramount and all voices are heard.”

Dr. Zellars Buck said this is an important lesson for students to be aware of and learn from.

"I hope that they figure out that they have to be educated, they have to know their rights," she said. "So they know when they're exercising them correctly and when its time to pull back."

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