Online tributes to journalism tutor

Tributes have poured in to a memorial website built in memory of Cardiff University journalism tutor Bob Atkins, who died suddenly last week, aged 64.

A veteran BBC producer and editor, Bob had taught broadcast journalism for 15 years, much of it to students of Cardiff’s Centre for Journalism Studies postgraduate diploma.

He pioneered the school’s first online journalism components in 2000 and continued to educate budding reporters on blogs, writing for the web and internet production.

“Bob is still, 10 years on, in my mind whenever I write a script,” one journalist wrote at the memorial website. “So many of today’s broadcasters owe their careers to Bob  – he knocked us down to build us back up again as professionals,” said another.

Other messages came from BBC News’ Huw Edwards and University of Central Lancashire journalism department head Mike Ward, an online journalism critic. Students and colleagues also created a group at social networking site Facebook to post their memories.

Although a broadcaster by trade, Bob also brought a hacker’s mentality to his online teaching, using his programming skills to cobble together early content management tools so that students could author material for the web.

His funeral will take place this Friday.