Navigating the ‘geriverse’ whether it’s your normal beat or not

Liz Seegert

About Liz Seegert

Liz Seegert (@lseegert), is AHCJ’s topic editor on aging. Her work has appeared in NextAvenue.com, Journal of Active Aging, Cancer Today, Kaiser Health News, the Connecticut Health I-Team and other outlets. She is a senior fellow at the Center for Health Policy and Media Engagement at George Washington University and co-produces the HealthCetera podcast.

Photo: Steve Baker via Flickr

Aging. We all do it; some better than others.

Why do some people keep going strong into their 90s and beyond, while others become frail, infirm, or lose cognitive ability while still a “young-old?” To report on aging is to open a Pandora’s box of related issues, from care delivery to policy matters; insurance, finance, housing, nutrition, family relationships, technology … you name it and chances are there’s a story angle on aging.

So how can journalists begin to make sense of the “age wave” that affects us all on a global scale? Whether you’re an experienced age beat reporter, new to the topic, or just occasionally write about it for the health section of your paper, start with the basics – how did we get here, why does it matter, and where are we going?

Eileen Beal has developed a terrific tip sheet to help navigate the what she calls “the geriverse.” As a highly experienced age-beat writer, she shares some of the ins and outs of covering this topic; the obvious and not-so-obvious nuances of issues already on the radar and others that reporters should pay attention to.  Beal calls aging “the” health care story of the 21st century. Her tips are well worth your attention.

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