Bob Atkins, who, with Colin Larcombe, headed the postgraduate Diploma in Broadcast journalism in the Cardiff School of Journalism, Media and Cultural Studies for the past 15 years, died suddenly just over a week ago. He was 64.
Bob had been associated with the school, and its teaching of broadcast journalism, since its beginnings in 1983. In that year, Mike Ungersma, now retired, arrived to teach broadcast under the leadership of Sir Tom Hopkinson. Mike recollects Bob’s fervent support then, as editor of BBC Radio Wales, ‘for well educated and trained young people’who wanted a career in broadcast journalism.
Before he joined in 1992, he spent more than 20 years at the BBC as a journalist, editor and manager. He worked as an editor at BBC Radio Wales, an executive producer for the World Service news and current affairs, and was a current affairs producer at BBC TV. In his time at the centre he trained many well-known broadcast journalists, including BBC foreign correspondents Damian Grammaticas and Chris Hogg, as well as Newsround presenter Laura Jones.
He was one of those wonderful, demanding teachers who would not tolerate mediocrity, and whose students all felt that he took them to places they would never have gone alone or without him. Broadcast journalism in Britain and beyond is better today because of his dedication.