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Robin Sussingham

Senior Editor

Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She hosts the weekly current affairs program, Florida Matters, on WUSF and also created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.

Robin has earned multiple awards for reporting on science, health, the environment, culture and education. She’s hosted a daily call-in show in Salt Lake City; reported at a newspaper in north Texas; and covered many national stories for NPR, as well as publications like Newsday, the Times of London, the Tampa Bay Times, epicurious and others. She has an undergraduate degree in Chemistry from Duke University and a Masters Degree in Journalism from New York University. 

Robin thinks Florida is the most fascinating place to tell stories – and has reported on things like giant invasive lizards, how to run from an alligator (do not serpentine!), and the best wood for smoking mullet. 

 

Ways to Connect

Jane Castor, left, and David Straz are running to become mayor of Tampa.
Campaign photos

Voters in Florida's third-largest city will go to the polls April 23 in the runoff for Tampa's mayor.

During the March election, former Police Chief Jane Castor almost got the 50 percent plus one needed to avoid a runoff. And retired banker and philanthropist David Straz came in second of the field of seven candidates, with around 16 percent of the vote.

Cover of Rick Bragg's "The Best Cook In The World"
Courtesy Penguin Random House

Best-selling author Rick Bragg has written another memoir about his family, and growing up poor in the hardscrabble back country of Alabama. This time, though, he tells it through stories of food -- and the importance of a good meal in lives full of backbreaking labor and few pleasures. His book, "The Best Cook In The World: Tales from My Momma's Southern Table " is also a loving tribute to his mother, Margaret. 

Florida’s legislative session has been underway for almost a month and there have already been some big changes.

We talk with reporters about key issues lawmakers are considering and how their actions could affect our lives on this week’s Florida Matters.


Pixabay

Historians and local old-timers say that once, Tampa Bay was overflowing with delicious oysters.

And that some rivers, like the Manatee River, were once so full of mullet that they roiled the water and their noise would keep nearby residents awake at night.

Tourists at Clearwater Beach.
WUSF Public Media

Tourism is a vital industry for our state, and Florida Matters is taking a look at how businesses fared in the wake of red tide, what's new with our theme parks, and where tourism is heading after another record-breaking year.


DeSantis To Lawmakers: Be Bold On Big Issues

Mar 5, 2019
The Florida Channel

Republican Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis gave an anti-tax, pro-environment State of the State address Tuesday, asking lawmakers to be bold as they tackle issues like education, school safety and health care.

Tampa Bay History Center

A new exhibit opening this weekend highlights the colorful history of beer in Tampa Bay.

Cigar maker Vicente Martinez Ybor founded Florida's first commercial beer brewery, The Florida Brewing Company, in Tampa in 1897 at the site of an ancient springs. Artifacts from that brewery will be among the items on display at the Tampa Bay History Center at an exhibition called "History By the Pint," which explores the story of beer and brewing in Tampa Bay.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

Florida ranks third in the nation for the number of calls placed to the national human trafficking hotline.

The charges filed against New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft last week for soliciting prostitution in Jupiter have again put a spotlight on sex trafficking in our state.

Stephanie Colombini / WUSF Public Media

These are exciting times for eating out in Tampa Bay. Our cuisine is getting better and more varied and starting to draw national attention.


Jeanette Abrahamsen / USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications

The Florida Strawberry Festival in Plant City starts Feb. 28. With the festival just a couple of weeks away, Florida Matters is taking another listen to stories from our 2018 special series "Telling Tampa Bay Stories: Plant City."

You’re invited to be part of a live audience at an upcoming Florida Matters taping on Wednesday February 13 at 9 AM.

Jeanette Abrahamsen / USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications

In 2017, our series, "Telling Tampa Bay Stories," took us to Tampa's Progress Village. In 2018, the focus turned to Plant City -- a Hillsborough County community where agriculture and development, history and progress all meet.


State Library & Archives of Florida

The annual Gasparilla celebration is one of Tampa Bay’s biggest social events, drawing in hundreds of thousands of people to dress up as pirates and eat, drink and be merry.

Though people dressing up in costumes and “invading” the city may seem like silly fun, the tradition has also played an important role in Tampa’s high society.

Gov. Ron DeSantis said it’s not productive to any gun-safety dialogue to focus on partisan politics, as Democrats continued to criticize President Donald Trump after two mass shootings over the weekend.
Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons

Florida’s new governor Ron DeSantis has wasted no time in putting his stamp on the state.

This week on Florida Matters we take a look at some of his actions so far and talk with journalists about other political happenings like the upcoming mayoral race in Tampa.


Look up "keto cookbooks" and you find a plethora of options: Quick and Easy Ketogenic Cooking, Southern Keto, Ketogenic Cleanse, Keto Comfort Foods… it’s fair to say this is a diet craze. But does it really work?

Dieting comes up a lot this time of year as people set new year resolutions to lose weight. One diet that's become very popular recently is the ketogenic diet -- or keto.

We talk about the diet and how it can affect your health on this week's Florida Matters.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is making its way through its list of 57 of the state’s imperiled species, issuing voluntary guidelines to help landowners and other interested parties with the animals’ conservation.

The agency recently approved guidelines for another nine species. The animals that the agency hopes will benefit from the guidelines include a frog found mainly at Eglin Air Force Base; a tiny fish that in Florida is found only in the Escambia River; and more recognizable species like the roseate spoonbill and the little blue heron.

Visit Central Florida

Lakeland’s historic downtown has seen a surge of new restaurants, with six opening in the last year alone.

There’s now dining or bar seating for an additional 1,500 customers in the area bordering Munn Park. That density of restaurants, with a variety of options, is good for business, said Julie Townsend, executive director of Lakeland Downtown Development Authority.

The year 2018 is almost over, and Florida Matters is looking back at the stories that made headlines in our region this year.


Flickr

Alternative kinds of housing like shipping containers and tiny houses are quickly growing in popularity. Could they help relieve some of the pressure from the affordable housing crunch? 


Jeanette Abrahamsen / USF Zimmerman School of Advertising & Mass Communications

Last month, the first installment of our series, "Telling Tampa Bay Stories," took us to Plant City, where we heard stories about the history and development of the Hillsborough County community.

This week's Florida Matters highlights some of the places and events that make Plant City special.


Film Tampa Bay

This week on Florida Matters we talk about how the state’s film industry has fared since the loss of a tax incentive program and how it can survive in the future.

Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham recently moderated a community discussion about veteran entrepreneurs with professionals who've been working on training and educating former soldiers on skills they need. 

Not only to integrate back into society, but to take on the risks and rewards of being an entrepreneur. The panel took place in front of a live audience at USF St. Petersburg, and we also took some questions from the audience. In this podcast, you'll hear about American Freedom Distillery and from one of its founders, former Green Beret Scott Neil.

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WUSF Public Media

Transitioning out of the military can be tough, but some veterans are finding a new role in civilian life as business owners.


On this week's podcast, Florida Matters Host Robin Sussingham sits down with long time political journalist and analyst William March to talk about the political zeitgeist, whether polls can be trusted, and whether the issue of gun control is working for the Democrats.

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This week on Florida Matters, we talk about the film industry in Florida. Florida cancelled its tax credits for film makers in 2016 -- and now industry observers say some big productions are moving to places like Georgia, which are still giving out big financial incentives. But several studies have come out saying state support for the film industry might not be worth the money, including one from Florida's Office of Economic and Demographic Research, which showed a return on investment of just 18 cents per dollar spent by the state.

In this week's podcast, Florida Matters host Robin Sussingham sits down with Lillian Dunlap, the executive director of Your Real Stories and creator of Story Days in Tampa Bay. The annual storytelling festival has just finished up, and Robin asks Lillian what she hopes listeners will come away with.

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Boyzell Hosey / Tampa Bay Times

Story Days in Tampa Bay recently hosted its fifth annual festival in St. Petersburg. This week on Florida Matters we hear excerpts from a performance  that reflects on Hurricanes Irma and Maria a year after the storms.

WMFE

The Pulse nightclub shooting on June 12, 2016 was, at the time, the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history, leaving 49 dead.

What if more victims could have lived? This year a peer-reviewed study concluded 16 victims died with potentially survivable wounds.


Forty-nine people died in the Pulse nightclub mass shooting in Orlando in 2016, but new information indicates that 16 of those victims may have been able to survive their injuries -- if they'd been treated sooner.

Robin Sussingham talks to John Montes, an Emergency Services Specialist with the National Fire Protection Association about the NFPA's new standards for first responders.


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