Journalism on the River

WUSF's Scott Finn and Tampa Bay Times outdoor editor Terry Tomalin
explore the wild Upper Hillsborough River. Photo by Joseph Gamble

The Hillsborough has attracted the attention of journalists for year, focusing on everything from history, to ecology, to recreation. Here we share links to some of the stories that have appeared; many include beautiful photos, video, and perceptive commentary from Florida writers.

Hillsborough River Digital Journalism Project

Earlier in 2012, the Digital Journalism and Design program at USF St. Petersburg teamed up with journalism faculty members Joseph Gamble (photographer) and Terry Tomalin (also Tampa Bay Times outdoors and fitness editor), and WUSF's news director Steve Newborn to produce a project on the Hillsborough River. The collaboration resulted in several multimedia news stories, which focused on the recovery of the river from decades of pollution, and its unique beauty as a recreational treasure. The links below will take you to these stories, videos, and photos.

Selected additional news stories

Project pumps fresh water into Hillsborough River, by Kevin Watrowski, Tampa Tribune, June 05, 2012


Tampa riverfront's future lies in redevelopment, by Richard Danielson, Tampa Bay Times, February 11, 2012


Paddling the Hillsborough River, by Terry Tomalin, Tampa Bay Times, March 26, 2010


Remains of Civil War blockade runner found on bottom of Hillsborough River, by Robbyn Mitchell, Tampa Bay Times, September 16, 2009


Hillsborough River Assets, News Channel 8, Nov. 11,  2008


Down a lazy river, by Rick Gershman, St. Petersburg Times, June 10, 2004


All the essays are pulled from Rivers of the Green Swamp, edited by Judith Redfern and published by the University of South Florida (2007).

The Ballad of Big Joe by Terry Tomalin

When word reached me that Joe was dead, I was saddened but not surprised. There's an old saying that if you live by the sword, you'll die by the sword, and Joe had a reputation for violence that extended far beyond the short strech of that he called home.... [Continue Reading]

Twentieth-Century Life along the Hillsborough, as seen by the Burgert Brothers by Lucy D. Jones

Commercial photography came into its own as a speciality in the early twentieth century, documenting the events, people, and places that created the modern world. Businessmen, newspapers, and chambers of commerce hired photographers to convey a message....[Continue Reading]

River of the Glimmering Cubes: The Octogenerian Artist in Spring by Judith Redfern Koch

A river never goes backward. Neither does abstract expressionist Gladys Shafran Kashdin. Like a river, she is wise, she is always searching, and she herself is a marvel creation. The Hillsborough River, in all aspects - its history, its ecosystem, its living organisms, its future....[Continue Reading]

Home on the Hillsborough by Edward Woodward

It's mid-morning at Hillsborough River State Park, a half-hour's drive north-east of my Tampa neighborhood. I'm about a five minute walk from the Hillsborough River. And I've got about five hours to spend in the woods. Ironically, I've come to the woods to let go of time and to tame....[Continue Reading]

No Small Measure of Hope by Joe Guidry

I must have been about four when I became aware of the Hillsborough River. It scared me. It was in the mid-fifties. My family was drving across the Hillsborough Avenue Bridge, itself a looming structure of steel cables and bars. Below, the mud-black river eddied ominously....[Continue Reading]