Public Release: 

Journalism fellowship recognizes America's top age beat reporters

The Gerontological Society of America

The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and New America Media (NAM) have selected 18 distinguished reporters for the next cohort of the Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now in its sixth year. They represent a wide range of general audience and ethnic media outlets, including several daily newspapers, national publications, and public radio affiliates.

The fellows will convene during GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting -- scheduled for November 18 to 22 in Orlando, Florida -- and utilize the more than 400 presentations and 4,000 expert attendees to develop a major aging-focused story or series. These proposed projects, to be published in 2016, will span such concerns as elder isolation, food insecurity, creativity, and aging in ethnic populations.

"GSA's meeting showcases the latest research on aging, and our fellows provide an invaluable service by disseminating that knowledge to the American public," said Paul Stearns, MS, GSA's Senior Director Membership, Communications, and Branding. "We provide a unique venue to help reporters understand everything from the latest discoveries in the health sciences to social and policy debates related to aging."

The fellows program is supported by funding from Archstone Foundation, The Commonwealth Fund, The John A. Hartford Foundation, The Retirement Research Foundation, The SCAN Foundation, and The Silver Century Foundation.

"The remarkable quality and range of this year's fellowship proposals are a tribute to the power of issues in aging," said NAM Executive Director Sandy Close. "Reporters across the spectrum of American journalism are discovering how deeply these stories run through every community."

In Orlando, the fellows also will report on new discoveries in aging and participate in a day-long workshop, where experts will discuss the latest research and provide insight on key issues facing Americans as they age. Continuing fellowship grants also are being provided to allow 12 previous fellows to participate in the meeting. A continuously updated list of stories generated by the program is available at http://www.geron.org/journalistfellows.

The program is co-directed by Todd Kluss, MA, GSA's senior manager of communications, and Paul Kleyman, senior editor of NAM's ethnic elders newsbeat. Kleyman also is the founder and national coordinator of the Journalists Network on Generations, which includes more than 1,000 writers on aging.

The new fellows:

David Bacon (Contributor, Capital & Main)

Project: Aging immigrant indigenous farm workers in California.

Marcela Paulina Cartagena (Editor/Reporter, La Raza Newspaper)

Project: Chicago's Spanish-speaking Latino elders being abandoned, abused and depressed, whether at home or in nursing homes.

Lotus Chau (Chief Reporter, Sing Tao Daily)

Project: A comprehensive picture of Alzheimer disease among Asian Americans who suffer from dementia in New York City.

Kar F. "Geoff" Chin (Senior Writer/Contributing Writer, Media Central, Inc./America Commercial News)

Project: An examination of the Tzu Chi Foundation's work in multiethnic areas of Los Angeles County aimed at integrating religion and spiritual elements in psychotherapy for elders.

Julian Do (Contributor, Al Enteshar)

Project: The status of Arab elders and the role of Arab American community centers in helping them access health care and services.

Lisa Esposito (Health Reporter, U.S. News & World Report)

Project: Isolation among older adults who desire to live independently, including gaps in health care and social connections for the 40 percent of U.S. seniors who live alone.

Anna Gorman (Senior Correspondent, Kaiser Health News)

Project: How hospitals treat frail elders, with emphasis on medication management for multiple chronic diseases, weakened mobility on discharge due to hospital care practices, and hospital admission of frail seniors.

Carolyn Guniss (Executive Editor, Miami Times)

Project: Profiles of largely African American inmates held for 20 or more years, and a study of reentry programs and how they relate to older ex-offenders.

Emily A. Gurnon (Senior Editor for Health and Caregiving, PBS Next Avenue)

Project: Abuses in the adult guardianship system.

Diane Lade (Aging Issues Writer, South Florida Sun Sentinel)

Project: Senior hunger, focusing on senior food insecurity and nutrition gaps in Florida's massive retirement communities.

Nell Lake (Freelance Contributor, Boston Globe)

Project: Immigrant women on the front lines of long-term care.

Sarah Macareg (Contributor, Truthout)

Project: How the health of Chicago's Chinese elders is interconnected with the health of its service providers, especially the Chinese American Service League.

Karen Michel (Freelance Contributor, America Abroad Media)

Project: How members of the Tibetan diaspora continue or modify traditional practices around the dying and the dead in the U.S.

Robert A. "Bob" Rosenblatt (Freelance Contributor, Los Angeles Times)

Project: How Medicare, Medicaid, doctors, insurers and patients will handle the expense and use of drugs curing Hepatitis C.

Diane Joy Schmidt (Freelance Contributor, New Mexico Jewish eLink)

Project: Profiles of older Jews who moved to New Mexico more than 20 years ago and gained a greater sense of connection to their Jewish roots.

Sheri Stuart (Freelance Contributor, Inland Valley News)

Project: The economic downturn's impact on African American wealth loss.

Tyler Tjomsland (Staff Photographer, The Spokesman-Review)

Project: The hardships of largely Hispanic migrant workers in Eastern Washington and Idaho.

Linda Valdez (Editorial Writer/Columnist, The Arizona Republic)

Project: An investigation of state-of-the-art neurological research regarding physical changes in the brain as a result becoming involved in creative endeavors.

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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 branch, the Association for Gerontology in Higher Education.

New America Media (NAM) is the country's first and largest national collaboration and advocate for over 3,000 ethnic news organizations. Nearly 60 million ethnic adults connect to each other, to home countries, and to America through ethnic media, the fastest growing sector of American journalism. Founded by the nonprofit Pacific News Service in 1996, NAM is headquartered in California with editors in New York and Washington, DC.

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