For Immediate Release
Contact: Todd Kluss
MetLife Foundation Grant To Expand Media Coverage for Aging Issues
The MetLife Foundation has awarded The Gerontological Society of America (GSA) and New America Media a $75,000 grant to establish a fellowship program that will bring a group of aging-focused reporters to GSA’s Annual Scientific Meeting this November in New Orleans, LA. Half of the invited participants will be chosen from ethnic media outlets.
The newly created MetLife Journalists in Aging Fellows Program will accept up to 14 individuals, who will be expected to deliver a story from the meeting and a major piece or series in the following three months.
“This is a terrific opportunity to provide momentum for a stronger media focus on aging issues,” said GSA Deputy Executive Director Linda Harootyan, MSW. “It’s important to spread the word about research from our meeting even if the current economy has resulted in cuts to reporters’ travel budgets.”
Harootyan will co-direct the project with Paul Kleyman, the senior editor of New America Media’s ethnic elders newsbeat. Upon arrival in New Orleans, 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.
U.S. government statistics predict that over the next 40 years, the older population of the country will double. Those from ethnic and racial minorities are expected to reach 40 percent of America’s population age 65 and over by 2050.
Harootyan said that these demographic trends prompted GSA and New America Media to seek support from funders to provide assistance for reporters.
“Ethnic media outlets now reach more than 57 million Americans, according to New America Media’s market research,” she noted. “GSA’s meeting is one of the few places where journalists can turn to experts to better understand scientific discoveries, social and policy debates, and solutions to the issues facing our aging population.”
The MetLife Foundation, the funder for this project, was created in 1976 by MetLife to continue its longstanding tradition of contributions and community involvement. Its goal is to empower people to lead healthy, productive lives and strengthen communities. The foundation typically makes grants related to the areas of health, education, civic affairs, and culture.
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 5,200+ 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.