Bobbie O'Brien


Bobbie O’Brien has been a Reporter/Producer at WUSF since 1991. She reports on general news topics in Florida and the Tampa Bay region.

Bobbie also produces the blog, Off the Base, and covers military affairs, veterans’ issues and military families. She was named a Rosalyn Carter Fellow in 2010-2011. She supervises WUSF’s news interns and frequently contributes to NPR programs.

Prior to joining WUSF, she worked at WTVT- TV as a researcher/segment producer, at the Tampa Tribune and at WFLA-TV. She attended Kent State University and earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Mass Communications from the University of South Florida in 1980.

Her work has been honored by the Society of Professional Journalists, the Radio and Television News Directors Association, Public Radio News Directors Inc., American Women in Radio & Television, the Florida Associated Press and the Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association.

Ways to Connect

During this Thanksgiving week, we're taking a second listen to our show on  food, family and traditions. From passing on the recipe for French Canadian meat pie, to making the perfect rice and meeting the bakers who make award-winning pies in Lakeland, our reporters are taking you into the kitchen. 

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

A 2014 survey found that almost 20 percent of the households using the Feeding Tampa Bay food bank were either veterans or active duty military.

The Norman family is a military family recently arrived from Colorado and transitioning into civilian life in Tampa. Never in a million years did the parents imagine that they would need help feeding their children.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

A Hillsborough circuit judge is calling on the University of South Florida to live up to its recent ranking as a top "veteran friendly" university.

Judge Greg Holder has asked USF President Judy Genshaft to readmit a student veteran who was expelled after an off-campus incident in August 2014.

Special ceremonies throughout the Tampa Bay region, Florida and the nation will recognize the sacrifices of those who served in the U.S. Armed Forces and those who are currently serving.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

If you can’t attend a Veteran’s Day parade or ceremony this Wednesday, there is something else you can do to honor a veteran.

The Library of Congress is hoping civilians will help gather veterans’ stories and then submit their recordings to the Veterans’ History Project.

U.S. Department of State

Retired Rear Admiral John Kirby is featured at two free, public events today at the University of South Florida Tampa campus.

The current spokesperson for the Department of State, Kirby is the keynote speaker at the USF Veterans Day Ceremony at 10 a.m. in the Marshall Student Center Ballroom A.

Later at 1 p.m., Kirby will be part of a presentation, “U.S. Foreign Policy in a Turbulent World,” on campus at the Patel Center for Global Solutions, Room 138.

Photo by Eve Edelheit / The Stuart Society

Take a delicious appetizer or a sinful chocolate dessert and pair it with a Georgia O’Keefe poppy or a Rembrandt portrait and the result is the “Food + Art” cookbook.

The boo, which is produced by The Stuart Society, both benefits the Museum of Fine Arts in St. Petersburg (255 Beach Drive N.E.) and marks the museum’s 50th anniversary.

A majority of Floridians believe that the state is not providing good medical care to people with disabilities, according to the annual Sunshine State Survey results released Tuesday.

Susan MacManus, the survey director and University of South Florida political scientist,  said concerns over health care for the state’s most vulnerable received some of the most negative findings.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

There’s a military tradition called a “Stand Down.” It’s when soldiers get a temporary break from combat for a shower, hot meal and peaceful night’s sleep.

Recently, Pasco County held a Stand Down for veterans in our community who are fighting a different kind of battle with homelessness, substance abuse or mental health issues.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

This week on Florida Matters (Tuesday, Oct. 20 at 6:30 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 25 at 7:30 a.m.), we’re exploring some of the many beaches around Tampa Bay, with a look at parking, water quality and recollections of beach days gone by.

While very few of the presidential candidates have yet to tour Florida – a presentation, “The State of the World in the 2016 Presidential Campaign” an American Conversation, is coming to Tampa Tuesday sponsored by the Hillsborough County Republican Party.

The free panel discussion is billed as non-partisan and will include a journalist, and three experts in international intelligence and counter-terrorism.

Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading

The 23rd Tampa Bay Times Festival of Reading will be held on Saturday, Oct. 24 at USF St. Petersburg.

Lottie Watts / WUSF Public Media

Refueling air crews from Tampa’s MacDill Air Force Base are flying daily support missions in the U.S. air campaign against the Islamic State.

The U.S. and Coalition their mission got more complicated this week when the Russians started flying airstrikes in the same Syrian air space.

Clinton Global Initiative

Former President Bill Clinton has announced a partnership to turn part of downtown Tampa into a more walkable, healthy place to live and work.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

It was only a few years ago that the Florida legislature gave counties permission to create Veterans Treatment Courts as an alternative to criminal prosecution of former military members charged with misdemeanors and third-degree felonies.

Since, 23 courts have been created, but only nine have received state money, including Pinellas and Pasco Counties.

Others, such as the Veterans Treatment Court in Hillsborough County, get none.

Marine Families

Whether you hold a candle at a vigil, wave a flag along the route, or ride your bike in memory, Marine Families (formerly known as the Tampa Area Marine Parents Assoc., Inc.) is looking for help for its 8th Annual Run for the Fallen.

The two-day memorial event September 19-20 recognizes the nearly 400 “Fallen Heroes” from the Iraq and Afghanistan wars and pays tribute to the Gold Star Families.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

A new medical director is at the helm of Tampa’s James A. Haley VA Medical Center. Joe D. Battle has only been on the job seven weeks but already has a long “to do” list.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

The war on terror in Afghanistan is now the nation’s longest running war. But the United States has been involved in many more conflicts over the centuries.

Operation Neptune Spear. Operation Deny Flight. Operation Praying Mantis. The Invasion of Grenada. The Berlin Blockade. These lesser-known names are among the 26 conflicts noted on the Committed Forces Memorial, a collection of granite pedestals surrounding a bronze globe just inside the entrance to the Hillsborough County Veteran’s Memorial Park in Tampa.

Bobbie O'Brien / WUSF Public Media

Tampa’s James A. Haley VA Hospital is using cutting edge technology to help injured veterans rehabilitate.

One of the devices, at the Spinal Cord Injury Center, helping paralyzed veterans stand and walk again is the Exoskeleton.

Using a computer backpack, robotic leg braces and a walker, veteran Josh Baker demonstrated the Exoskeleton during the April 2014 ceremonial opening of Haley’s new Polytrauma Center.

Jeb Bush Campaign video

Mention the words "email" and "presidential candidate," and Hillary Clinton immediately comes to mind. That’s because Clinton has faced constant questions about her use of a private email server while she was Secretary of State.

But PolitiFact Florida has found that Clinton isn’t the only presidential candidate to use a private email server while holding a government office.

“When I was governor of the State of Florida, I released all of my emails,” former Gov. Jeb Bush told a crowd at the Iowa State Fair.