How old is too old? It depends on whom you ask


Thursday, Sept. 14 at 2 p.m. ET

Ongoing coverage of President Biden's age, along with nearly non-stop chatter about Mitch McConnell and Diane Feinstein's recent health incidents, have highlighted the ageism that often accompanies reporting on age and leadership.

But age alone should not be a deciding factor in politics — or any field — and reporters need to understand the nuances of overt and unconscious age bias. How should we frame "the age issue" in light of already-divisive politics, and how can we offer more balanced and fair reporting about officeholders, candidates, and others when critics argue they're too old to serve?

A top aging and longevity researcher and a veteran DC-based health reporter will discuss age bias in reporting and how to offer more balanced coverage.

Watch the recording

S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D.

Joanne Kenen

Liz Seegert


S. Jay Olshansky, Ph.D., is a professor in the School of Public Health at the University of Illinois at Chicago, a research associate at the Center on Aging at the University of Chicago, and chief scientist at Lapetus Solutions, Inc. He also serves on the board of the American Federation for Aging Research.

Olshansky's research focuses on estimates of the upper limits to human longevity, exploring the health and public policy implications associated with individual and population aging, forecasts of the size, survival, and age structure of the population, pursuit of the scientific means to slow aging in people (The Longevity Dividend), and global implications of the re-emergence of infectious and parasitic diseases. He has authored several books and dozens of articles on these and other age-related topics

Joanne Kenen is a Commonwealth Fund Journalist in Residence at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, where she also teaches a class about public health and the changing media landscape. She is a contributing editor to Politico Magazine, Politico “Nightly” and a regular panelist on KFF Health News’  “What the Health” podcast.

Prior to joining Johns Hopkins, she was at POLITICO for 10 years, overseeing its health coverage from the implementation of the Affordable Care Act to the coronavirus pandemic.  She covered health for Reuters on Capitol Hill for more than a decade, as well as two national presidential campaigns and spent two years working on health policy at the nonpartisan New America Foundation.

Earlier, she worked in New York, Miami and Central America.  As a Kaiser Family Foundation fellow from 2006-2007, she wrote extensively about aging and end of life. Her work has appeared in The Atlantic, KFF Health News, STAT, The Washington Post, Slate, Health Affairs and other outlets, and she is a frequent speaker, moderator and TV and radio commentator.  A graduate of Harvard, she has been an Inter-American Press Association Fellow, a Kaiser Family Foundation Media Fellow, and  Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health Visiting Menschel Senior Leadership Fellow.

Liz Seegert is AHCJ's Health Beat Leader for aging. She is a veteran independent health journalist covering aging, boomers, health policy, and social determinants of health affecting older adults. Liz is a contributing writer for PBS/; she has also written for TIME Health, American Journal of Nursing, Medscape, Consumer Reports, and Medical Economics, as well as dozens of other trade and mainstream media. Her articles have been syndicated in, the Los Angeles Times, the Hartford Courant, the Saturday Evening Post and other major outlets. As AHCJ’s topic editor for aging, she provides journalists with story ideas, tips, resources, and best practices for reporting on aging.