Tampa’s WUSF acquires nonprofit online site Health News Florida

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WUSF Public Media in Tampa, Fla., has acquired Health News Florida, an online nonprofit daily news service that covers health issues statewide, the station announced on Sept. 10. Former Wall Street Journal reporter Carol Gentry founded the site in 2006. Gentry also covered health and medicine for the St. Petersburg Times (now the Tampa Bay Times) and the Tampa Tribune.

“This is such a significant milestone for WUSF Public Media,” said JoAnn Urofsky, WUSF general manager, in the announcement. “Health News Florida will position us as a leader across the state when it comes to reporting on healthcare. Carol Gentry’s expertise will add significantly to our current newsroom capacity.”

“Health News Florida offers nonprofit journalism in the public interest,” Gentry said. “That is why our partnership with WUSF is such a good fit. Our values match up to those of public broadcasting.”

The station will spend several months integrating the archives from its Healthy State Collaborative and Health News Florida. The official launch of the new website is scheduled for November 2012.

According to the Miami Herald, Health News  Florida aggregates articles from around the state and also provides independent reporting, often with a focus on health policy. “The site was previously sustained by grant money and advertising but has long struggled to make ends meet,” it noted.

“I’ll have a learning curve on digital recording and editing,” Gentry told the newspaper, “but once that is done, I’ll start learning video, too.”We plan to have radio stories at least once a week starting now, and public radio stations around the state —  or even NPR — can use them if they want.”