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A tribute to Vera Frankl

Professor Ivor Gaber pays tribute to friend and colleague Vera Frankl.
by Ben

By Professor Ivor Gaber, Director, Political Journalism MA

Vera Frankl, who passed away earlier this week, was an inspirational journalist, producer and tutor. She taught at City for five years and, judging by the tributes that have come in from her former students, she made a lasting impact on the generation of City students she worked with.

Vera and I were at Warwick University together in the late 60s. She was, as a student and later in life, raucous and funny, sometimes challenging , but always a sympathetic shoulder to cry on.

She began her journalism career at Swiss Radio, which at the time had a highly-respected English language news service; she then moved to the BBC World Service, as a journalist, and subsequently had a distinguished career as a documentary-maker for both Radio 4 and the World Service. Latterly she and I made programmes for the BBC, via my independent production company; and from 2007 she taught at City.

As a radio producer and editor she was inspired - a tireless perfectionist who always wanted to make just one more cut, so that the finished programme was just right; and her programmes were that - just right. In her search for, if not perfection, the closest she could get to it she made enormous demands of herself, and occasionally of others.

She approached her teaching in the same way, pushing her students to be as demanding on themselves as she was on herself. The result was that students produced work of a high quality and took away from here a passion for radio.

Vera 's own love of radio never left her and she also loved the BBC, but not always, what she called those "*** bosses at the Beeb."

Vera leaves a legacy of fine programmes, a reputation as an outstanding documentary producer - to quote some of those *** Beeb bosses - "a great programme maker" and, "a wonderful person and a maker of wonderful radio"- but just as importantly, a generation of students as committed to radio, as she was, and intent on maintaining the very highest standards of journalism and production - something Vera never flinched from. She will be much missed by all who knew her.

Vera leaves a daughter Anna and a son Misha.

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