National Press Club

National Press Club condemns apparent mistreatment of reporter in Missouri

November 11, 2015 | By John M. Donnelly |

Leaders of the National Press Club expressed concern Nov. 10 about a YouTube video and news reports that appear to document bullying of a student reporter by a crowd of activists on the University of Missouri campus.

The video showed a crowd of protesters trying to intimidate Tim Tai, a student photographer who was reportedly on assignment for ESPN, in an effort to keep him away from an enclave of protesters. The video showed at least two people who were said to be university staff members involved in mistreating Tai by pushing him or threatening to keep him away from the protest area.

"Mr. Tai was correct when he told the protesters that he has a First Amendment right to photograph in a public space, just as the activists have a First Amendment right to protest there," said NPC President John Hughes. "The National Press Club calls upon the University of Missouri to make clear to its students and staff that reporters should not be kept from doing their jobs -- and certainly not through physical force or threats. In the home of one of the world's great journalism schools, such behavior cannot be tolerated."