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Award-Winning Coverage Showcases Value of Members’ Work

By CEO James Appleby, BSPharm, MPH
April 27, 2020

The dissemination of GSA members’ scientific research has been a guiding principle of our Society since its founding 75 years ago. While much of the research community is focused on COVID-19 right now, the important work of GSA members continues across the broad continuum of research endeavors. GSA’s role in disseminating research findings also includes making sure that accurate information about aging is shared with the general public.

One of the chief ways our Society has achieved this is through GSA’s Journalists in Aging Fellows Program, now celebrating its 10th year. This program educates journalists across all media platforms about aging issues and helps them connect with the leading researchers in the GSA membership to share findings with diverse audiences nationwide. Thus, these journalists are a vital link between aging researchers and the general public.

Recently, we received some wonderful news that two journalists received awards for work they produced as participants in the fellowship program.

Brad Pomerance, a host and producer for Jewish Life Television, earned the Religion Communicators Council’s Award of Excellence for his August 2019 special, “Mental Health in Older Jewish Americans.” In producing the special, Pomerance interviewed several experts at our 2018 Annual Scientific Meeting, including GSA member Allen Glicksman.

Rhonda Miller, a reporter with NPR-affiliate WKU Public Radio in Kentucky, received several awards in the Kentucky Associated Press Broadcasters competition, including first place honors in the competition’s Radio Reporter category. She received second place in the Long Public Affairs category for her series titled “Looking for Workers? An Owensboro Program is Training Local Senior Citizens to Fill Positions” (part 1 and part 2), which quoted GSA members Philip Taylor and Raphael Eppler-Hattab; and third place in Special Series/Documentary category for her series titled “Elder Refugees in Kentucky Face Challenges Related to Language, Hunger, and Isolation” (part 1, part 2, and part 3).

I express my thanks to the many GSA members who have been so helpful to reporters over the years by sharing your expertise and research at the Annual Scientific Meeting and beyond. You can get a scope of the ongoing work of these journalist fellows at www.geron.org/coverage. They have produced nearly 700 stories! Half of our fellows are chosen from outlets that serve ethnic and other minority audiences, which represent the fastest growing segment of the U.S. population aged 65+.

This innovative program is made possible with support from four committed partners: The Silver Century Foundation, RRF Foundation for Aging, The Commonwealth Fund, and The John A. Hartford Foundation.

To administer the program and uphold journalistic standards, GSA collaborates with the Journalists Network on Generations, founded by award-winning age-beat reporter Paul Kleyman. Liz Seegert, an experienced and recognized independent aging and health care reporter, serves as co-director of the program along with GSA Director of Communications Todd Kluss.

The program consistently receives superlative feedback. Here’s one inspiring example shared by a recent fellow:

“This was one of the best events I have ever attended during my journalistic career. It rates five stars in terms of networking, issue exposure, and diversity. Thank you so much for the opportunity. It has broadened my work at a critical, transitory point in my career. I hope this project/fellowship can continue indefinitely.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

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