The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) has received renewed grant support to welcome a new class of reporters for the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program. The 2021 funders to date include RRF Foundation for Aging and The John A. Hartford Foundation.
Since its founding in 2010, this program has been responsible for more than 700 news stories produced by 185 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.
“With the support of our funding partners, the journalist fellows are able to build connections to expert sources on aging, to each other, and to their communities,” said Todd Kluss, GSA’s director of communications. “As a result, they are equipped to provide accurate, fact-based coverage to diverse audiences in a time when misleading news is often encountered.”
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.
“The COVID-19 pandemic put aging issues on the front burner for many and highlighted the need to tell older adults’ diverse stories,” Seegert said. “I’m excited to help journalists strengthen their reporting on the key topics that continue to impact us as we age.”
The program’s co-founder, Journalists Network on Generations National Coordinator Paul Kleyman, serves 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 or other 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 the fellows’ participation in GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting, which in 2021 will take place from November 10 to 14 in Phoenix, Arizona, with the theme of “Disruption to Transformation: Aging in the ‘New Normal.’” There the fellows will participate in an exclusive educational workshop, which will showcase demographic trends and research highlights and include 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 application deadline is Wednesday, August 11.
A continuously updated list of stories from the fellows is available online.