‘Family Album Radio’ brings research-based information to listeners worldwide

Published: June 14 2007

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GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Gators everywhere are getting used to first-place rankings, so here’s another opportunity — UF boasts the nation’s first research-based radio series on family life.

On the air since October 2004 and approaching its 700th program, “Family Album Radio” has proven there’s an audience eager for objective information rather than advice, said Executive Producer Suzanna Smith, an associate professor in the family, youth and community sciences department. The two-minute series covers everything from parenting and nutrition to finances and caregiving.

“While you can open any popular magazine and get tips on how to balance work and family or what to feed your baby, we are looking at the current research,” Smith said.

Broadcast weekdays on WUFT-FM in Gainesville and WJUF-FM in Inverness, “Family Album Radio” now reaches 18 North Central Florida counties. It’s also carried in about 20 other states, and series programs are downloaded up to 1,500 times a week by listeners in North and South America, Europe, Asia and Africa.

The series is keeping prestigious company these days. In May, Smith and Senior Producer Donna Davis were honored by the Council on Contemporary Families, a top professional organization for family science researchers. They received the 2007 CCF Media Award for Radio Coverage of America’s Families. Winners in other categories included Time magazine and WNET, New York City’s premier public television station.

Smith and Davis write most of the scripts, by reviewing recent journal articles and then explaining the findings in a way that listeners can relate to their own lives. It’s not an easy thing to do in 250 words, they say.

Other faculty in the family, youth and community sciences department often contribute by writing scripts, offering ideas or assigning their students to write scripts for the series, said Davis, who also hosts the series.

“Family Album Radio” is recorded in the WUFT studios, under the direction of Program Director Bill Beckett and his staff, she said.

“Bill is tremendous,” Davis said. “There’s a commitment to the quality of the program that he demands that hopefully people hear in the finished product.”

The series is produced by UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences, in cooperation with WUFT. Funding for the series is provided by UF’s dean for extension and the family, youth and community sciences department.

The next frontier for “Family Album Radio” is a series of CDs, she said. The first, on parenting babies and young children, was released in November, and new entries on family nutrition, child-care issues and parent-school partnerships are being completed.

Collaborations with the Florida PTA and the United Way are in the works as well.

“Our goal is to provide people with the knowledge to help them be as good as they can be in operating as a family,” Davis said. “And I’d like to think we do that.”



Category:Top Stories