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MetLife Foundation's grant bolsters media coverage for aging issues

The MetLife Foundation has awarded The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and New America Media (NAM) $100,000 in new grant funding for a fellowship program that will bring aging-focused reporters to GSA's Annual Scientific Meeting in Boston this November. Half of the invited participants will be chosen from ethnic media outlets.

The MetLife Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now in its second year, will accept 16 individuals who will deliver a story from the meeting and a major piece or series in the following months. The funds also will allow ten previous fellows to come to Boston to cover the newest developments in the field of aging. A panel of journalists and gerontologists will select the new fellows.

U.S. government statistics predict that over the next 40 years, the number of Americans age 65 and over will double. Additionally, those from ethnic and racial minorities are expected to make up 40 percent of this age group by 2050.

"The unprecedented growth of the senior demographic calls for a stronger media focus on aging," said GSA Deputy Executive Director Linda Harootyan, MSW. "At GSA's meeting, journalists can turn to experts to better understand scientific discoveries, social and policy debates, and solutions to the issues facing older people."

Harootyan co-directs the program with Paul Kleyman, the senior editor of NAM's ethnic elders newsbeat and national coordinator of the Journalists Network on Generations, a collaborator on this project.

"The MetLife Foundation's second-year funding not only attests to the outpouring of articles resulting from the first fellowship year, but also to the enthusiasm reporters have shown in digging deeply into issues of aging. Many have continued writing articles beyond their original proposals," said Kleyman.

Upon arrival in Boston, the fellows will participate in a day-long pre-conference session. GSA will showcase research highlights from the meeting and host discussions with veteran journalists on how to position aging stories in the current media environment.


Contact: Todd Kluss
The Gerontological Society of America

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