By Louis Chan
AsAmNews National Correspondent
A student journalist who stood up to a teacher and belligerent protesters to defend his first amendment rights will receive an honor normally reserved for seasoned professional journalists.
Tim Tai of the University of Missouri will be honored this month along with former NBC News anchor Tom Brokaw, CBS Cami McCormick, the Washington Post’s Jason Rezaian, NPR’s Robert Garcia, and E.W. Scripps’ Rich Boehne at the First Amendment Awards Ceremony in Washington, D.C.
The award presented by the Radio and Television Digital News Association “is presented to an individual or organization who takes a public stand in support of press freedom.”
The student photographer was shooting photos of a protest on campus when assistant professor Melissa Click tried to stop Tai from taking pictures and urged the student demonstrators to use “muscle” to keep the journalist away.
“The first amendment that protects your right to stand here protects mine,” said Tai to someone who asked him to leave.
He recently testified in support of a bill that would limit the reasons for blocking publications in student-sponsored media.
Tai was born and raised in St. Louis and has been an intern at the Tulsa World and the San Antonio Express-News. He has been honored as the College Photographer of the Year and by the Associated Collegiate Press, the Hearst Journalism Awards and the Missouri Press Association.
(AsAmNews is an all-volunteer effort of dedicated staff and interns. You can show your support by liking our Facebook page at www.facebook.com/asamnews, following us on Twitter and sharing our stories.)