In the weeks prior to the start of the GSA meeting, there will be an initial online presentation/orientation conducted via Zoom. Onsite in Tampa, each fellow will then be expected to participate in a special daylong preconference session (Wednesday, November 8) and three days of general meeting sessions (Thursday, November 9, through Saturday, November 11). Fellows will also commit to completing one short-term story and one long-term in-depth project about any research-based aspect of aging. The latter must be summarized in a one-to-two page story pitch.
All articles must be published, broadcast, or posted through distributed or circulated news media entities rather than personal blogs, and will be required to include a note at the beginning or end crediting that it was written/produced with support from the fellowship. (Reporters will be provided text samples that may be adapted for different media.) The stories must reach an audience within the U.S.
Short-term story: Fellows must produce an initial story of no less than 500 words (or comparable broadcast length) about any research-based aspect of aging. Although reporters may draw from the vast number of peer-reviewed studies and expert presenters available to them at the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, they are not required to cite any aspect of the conference, and may develop their story from other verifiable research sources. This piece must be completed no later than Sunday, December 31, 2023, and scheduled to be disseminated by Thursday, February 1, 2024. The story can be a news report, feature, or commentary/blog. Unlike the long-term project (see below), applicants need not propose a topic for the short-term story ahead of time, nor do they have to obtain advance approval from an editor/producer that the piece will be considered as an editorial assignment for publication or broadcast. The subject matter also need not be related to that of the long-term project. Selected fellows will be permitted to publish their short-term and long-term pieces through different media organizations, but it is still the Fellow's responsibility to see that the pieces are published in such a case. Therefore, applicants should indicate where they expect to place the short-term story if it will appear in a different news outlet than the long-term project.
Long-term project: Each fellow will submit a proposal (of one to two pages) outlining a major story or series that she or he intends to research and write. The story or series should be of the fellow's own design, documenting and explaining a pressing issue that older adults and their families or communities are facing.
The project deadline will be Monday, April 1, 2024, and it must be scheduled to be disseminated no later than Wednesday, May 1, 2024. As with the short-term project, the story or series need not be based on any aspect of the GSA Annual Scientific Meeting, although reporters may choose to interview expert presenters or utilize articles published in GSA’s peer-reviewed journals.
Some preference will be given to application proposals on the impact of important news developments such as the COVID-19 pandemic and ethnic/racial equality, although the program remains open to story pitches related to the myriad ongoing under-reported stories of aging in America.
Fellowship applicants are invited to make proposals on a wide range of subjects, such as caregiving challenges; ageism; health care; dementia and its impact; intergenerational activities; immigration; healthy aging (including wellness and physical activity); safety education (e.g., falls and fall prevention); health disparities; elder abuse prevention; depression and social isolation; hunger; medication challenges; lifelong learning; art and creativity for older adults; aging in place; age-friendly communities; older-worker issues (e.g., career retraining and encore careers); civic engagement (mentoring, volunteering, or otherwise “giving back” to society); health care workforce issues and the ability of health professionals to deliver skilled geriatric care; the education and training of geriatric specialists in medicine, nursing, and social work; and models of health care delivery that integrate and improve services for older patients. Projects may, but are not required to, reflect at least one element of ethnic/racial population diversity. This may include the involvement of diverse experts or facts about an issue’s effect on such distinct groups based on their ethnicity, race, gender, geography, or sexual orientation.
Both staff journalists and freelancers who apply must submit an agreement by his or her editor/producer to accept the long-term project proposal as an editorial assignment for likely publication or broadcast. Those who also serve as the principal editor/producer of a news outlet are also welcome to apply. These journalists need not provide a separate editor/producer’s assurance, but they should make their dual role as writer and editor/producer clear in the proposal. For cases in which the original media outlet does not release a project story, the Fellow is obligated to place it in a comparable news or information medium.