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Journalism trainer who mentored future editors dies aged 74

Robin Crowther 2005Tributes have been paid to a long-serving journalism trainer and former member of the NCTJ media law examinations board who has died aged 74.

Robin Crowther, pictured left, taught media law at Darlington College for 26 years and was its head of journalism for a short time.

He also served as a senior examiner in media law for the NCTJ until his retirement in 2005.

Robin’s death comes shortly after that of his wife Barbara, who passed away in November.

Before moving into teaching, Robin’s journalism career was spent working for newspapers in the North East of England, including the Northern Echo, and a period in Durban, South Africa.

Echo editor Peter Barron, a former student of Robin’s, said: “So sad to hear my old journalism lecturer at Darlington College, Robin Crowther, has died.

“Robin had a special gift of teaching with a blend of incredible knowledge, wonderful humour, and infectious enthusiasm for journalism.”

Former Whitby Gazette editor Jon Stokoe tweeted: “Rest in peace Big Man. One of the fellows who trained me up to be a journalist.”

Mark Hanna, chair of the NCTJ media law examinations board, said: “Robin made an immense contribution to the law board’s work.

“His sense of humour and passion for training journalists always helped our meetings be productive and genial.

“He always went the ‘extra mile’ to be an encouraging mentor to new board members, including myself, and for all those he helped gain a career in journalism.”

Robin is survived by his four sons Andrew, James, Phil and Simon.


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  • February 1, 2016 at 10:05 am

    Sad to see the passing of a good man who taught so many journalism students over the years.
    Wonderfully wry sense of humour and a devilishly decent squash player!

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  • February 1, 2016 at 10:50 am

    Robin had that quintessential sense of fun and mischief that brought the ‘dry’ business of learning the nuts and bolts of our profession to life. An inspiring and thought-provoking character who certainly had a big impact on my career.

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