The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) Journalists in Aging Fellows Program has received renewed grant support to welcome its 10th cohort of reporters. The 2019 funders include The Silver Century Foundation, The Retirement Research Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, and The John A. Hartford Foundation.
Since its founding in 2010, this program has been responsible for nearly 700 news stories produced by 156 alumni. It has two goals: to educate journalists about issues in aging, better allowing them to spread a new awareness both to ethnic and general-audience populations; and to disseminate information about new scientific findings, policy debates, innovations, and evidence-based solutions.
“With the support of our funding partners, the program allows journalists to make invaluable connections to expert sources on aging, to each other, and to their communities,” said Todd Kluss, GSA’s director of communications. “GSA is proud to celebrate 10 years of fostering these connections, which are a key component of improving our lives as we age.”
Kluss co-directs the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program together with Paul Kleyman, the founder and national coordinator of the program’s media partner, the Journalists Network on Generations.
“Our journalism fellows have generated a remarkable range of stories on topics such as combatting older adults’ hunger, reentry of older prisoners, and taboo subjects like dementia in many communities needing to know there’s help for families if only they will put aside their fears and seek it,” Kleyman said. “This program enables reporters to learn about the complex issues of aging and meet the expert sources who can inform their audiences.”
As in previous years, half of the fellows will be selected from general audience media and half from ethnic media outlets that serve communities within the U.S.
The program commences with the fellows’ participation in GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting, which in 2019 will take place from November 13 to 17 in Austin, Texas — with the theme of “Strength in Age: Harnessing the Power of Networks.” On arriving in Austin, the fellows will participate in a daylong workshop before the GSA meeting begins. This session will showcase research highlights from the meeting and host discussions with veteran journalists on how to position aging stories in the current media environment.
The fellowship requires reporters to deliver two stories based on current aging research, including a 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 2019 application deadline is Friday, July 19.
Several previous fellows also will be eligible for support to attend the GSA meeting to cover the newest developments in the field of aging. A continuously updated list of stories from the fellows is available at www.geron.org/journalistfellows.
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, and an educational unit, the Academy for Gerontology in Higher Education.
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).