The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has received renewed grant support to welcome a new cohort of reporters for the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program. The 2020 funders include The Silver Century Foundation, RRF Foundation for Aging, The John A. Hartford Foundation, and a new partner this year, the Gannett Foundation.
Since its founding in 2010, this program has been responsible for nearly 700 news stories produced by 170 alumni. It has two goals: to educate journalists about issues in aging, better allowing them to spread a new awareness to general-audience, ethnic, and other minority populations; and to disseminate information about new scientific findings, policy debates, innovations, and evidence-based solutions. The new cycle of the program will be conducted entirely online.
“We’re grateful for the continued support of our funding partners, who join us in recognizing the crucial need this year for accurate coverage of every inter-related dimension of aging in America — including physical and mental health, social connections, housing, and financial security, to name a few,” said Todd Kluss, GSA’s director of communications. “We will make the most of available technology to allow the new journalist fellows to build invaluable connections to expert sources on aging, to each other, and to their communities.”
Kluss co-directs the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program together with Liz Seegert, who serves as program coordinator of the fellowship’s media partner, the Journalists Network on Generations.
“I’m excited to help journalists expand the scope and depth of their age-beat reporting,” said Seegert. “This year, it’s even more important to shine a light on the myriad of issues facing our older populations. The fellowships provide invaluable opportunities to learn from experts across disciplines and to take a deeper dive into key aspects of our aging society.”
The program’s co-founder, Paul Kleyman, national coordinator of the Journalists Network on Generations, will serve as senior advisor and editorial consultant.
As in previous years, half of the fellows will be selected from general-audience media and half from ethnic/minority media outlets that serve communities within the U.S. Staff and freelance reporters and who are covering or wish to cover issues in aging are eligible to apply.
The program will commence with a short series of exclusive background and issue-focused educational sessions, taking place across four days between October 28 and November 12. Fellows will additionally participate in GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting, taking place from November 4 to 7, also online. The fellowship will showcase research highlights from the meeting and other sources, and host discussions with veteran journalists on how to position aging stories in the current media environment.
The fellowship requires reporters to deliver two projects based on current aging research, including a short-initial story and major piece or series in the following months. All applications for the fellowship program will be reviewed by a selection committee of gerontologists and editorial professionals. The criteria will include clarity and originality of proposed in-depth story projects; quality of samples of published or produced work; and high-impact potential of proposals geographically and across different ethnic or racial populations. The 2020 application deadline is Tuesday, September 1.
A continuously updated list of stories from the fellows is available online.
The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) is the nation’s oldest and largest interdisciplinary organization devoted to research, education, and practice in the field of aging. The principal mission of the Society — and its 5,500+ members — is to advance the study of aging and disseminate information among scientists, decision makers, and the general public. GSA’s structure also includes a policy institute, the National Academy on an Aging Society.
The Journalists Network on Generations, founded in 1993, is based in San Francisco. It links to over 1,000 journalists, authors, and producers on issues in aging, and publishes Generations Beat Online News (GBONews.org).