WUSF-FM reporter Bobbie O'Brien wins Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for mental health journalism project
Ace WUSF-FM (89.7) reporter Bobbie O'Brien has scored a national honor: winning a Rosalynn Carter Fellowship for Mental Health Journalism to develop a special reporting project on issues among military personnel and their spouses.
The idea grew out of a series of reports O'Brien developed for WUSF on the experiences of Senior Master Sgt. Rex Temple, an airman from Tampa with 27 years' experience whop has documented his fourth -- and last -- tour of duty on blog and through reports on WUSF. See the station's reports here; read Temple's blog here. see O'Brien's other WUSF stories here.
Temple is married to former area TV news producer Liisa Hyvarinen, who herself earned a Carter fellowship back in 1999 for a documentary on suicide, which included an emotional interview with 60 Minutes correspondent Mike Wallace on his struggles with depression.
As one of only six people nationwide participating the fellowship program this year, O'Brien will receive a $10,000 stipend to develop her project, looking at the impact on soldiers and spouses from multiple deployments in Iraq and/or Afghanistan.
It's unfortunate to see that O'Brien is getting the same stipend amount in 2010 that Hyvarinen was given 11 years ago for her Carter fellowship, created by former President Jimmy Carter's wife.
But it's still encouraging to see programs providing opportunities for experienced journalists to take breaks from the rush of deadline news gathering to do in-depth work on important issues.