RFA Open to journalists for our Age Boom Academy 2020 - Deadline to apply is March 6

Tuesday, February 11, 2020


Journalists, Apply to join us for our 2020 Age Boom Academy ""Combatting Loneliness in Aging: Toward a 21st Century Blueprint for Societal Connectedness" in New York City, from June 4-6, 2020. Application deadline is Friday, March 6, 2020, 5PM ET. For all details, visit: ageboom.columbia.edu   The Robert N. Butler Columbia Aging Center and the Columbia School of Journalism, will host the 2020 Age Boom Academy: "Combatting Loneliness in Aging: Toward a 21st Century Blueprint for Societal Connectedness" in New York City, from June 4-6, 2020. If you are a working journalist or freelance writer, apply to join us in June for this signature program co-led by Columbia faculty members Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, and Bruce Shapiro. A selective process identifies Fellows who will then come together with researchers for an intensive two-and-a-half day workshop to learn how to effectively translate science into accessible reporting on the complex issues of the effects of loneliness and social isolation on health and in aging.    Why loneliness? There is evidence that loneliness has been escalating substantially and has emerged as a distinctly 21st century issue because for much of the latter part of the 20th century, we designed loneliness into our society. In the U.S. in the 1970s, 11-17% of Americans of middle age and older reported being lonely; in 2010 that had risen to 40%. And today?  A majority, or three in five Americans, reported feeling lonely in 2019.   The rates are high and rising in each age group starting with adolescents. The reasons for loneliness vary by age group, but many of the reasons in aging are socially constructed: age-segregation, ageism, disconnection both within and across generations, exacerbated by the geographic dispersion of families. Loneliness is a painful subjective experience that has severe health, economic, and societal consequences. Our longer lives, our changing work environments, technology all contribute to loneliness at older ages. So, what if we could design loneliness out? What would the blueprint for societal connectedness be to combat loneliness in aging?     During the Academy, journalist Fellows will learn about the causes and envision through sources the solutions by interviewing assembled scientists and experts, participating in story clinics led by researchers and senior journalists, having their story ideas critiqued by researchers and potential sources. The 2020 speakers include Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH; Louise Hawkley, PhD; Tom Kamber, PhD; and Becca Levy, PhD; as well as many others. The training will include story clinics and breakouts with Bruce Shapiro, trainers from Solutions Journalism, and senior press members Rich Eisenberg (NextAvenue), Chris Farrell (Marketplace), Kerry Hannon (New York Times contributor), and Carol Hymowitz (formerly of Bloomberg News).   There is no cost for accepted Fellows to attend; a full FAQ and the application are available at ageboom.columbia.edu. For more information, contact Caitlin M. Hawke, Senior Science and Strategy Officer, Columbia Aging Center: [email protected].   The 2020 Age Boom Academy is funded by a generous grant from the RRF Foundation on Aging with additional support from the AARP Foundation.