Project Description

The Columbia Aging Center and the Columbia Journalism School will host the 2022 virtual Robert N. ButlerJack Rosenthal Age Boom Academy: “Caregiving and Our Longer Lives The $500 Billion Question over four twohour online sessions on October 13, 14, 20 and 21, 2022 (exact session times at

The deadline for journalists to apply is June 30, 2022.(Now Closed)

Into its third decade, the Age Boom Academy is Columbia University’s signature media training program for reporting on the opportunities and challenges of increased longevity.

If you are an onstaff or freelance journalist, you may apply to become a Fellow in this program coled by Linda P. Fried, MD, MPH, Dean, Columbia Mailman School of Public Health; and Bruce Shapiro, Executive Director, Dart Center for Journalism and Trauma and Columbia Journalism School faculty.

Selected Fellows will convene with researchers for an intensive, multisession, online workshop focused on how to report effectively on the complex interplay of increased
longevity and the U.S. informal caregiving economy. This topic crosscuts journalistic beats, regions and markets.

The U.S. is facing a crisis in caregiving, with more than one in five Americans already caring for older family members. The coming economic, civic, social and health implications of this statistic are staggering. A decade ago, the economic valuation of our growing reliance on informal caregivers was estimated at half a trillion dollars per annum four times
what Medicaid spends on longterm services and supports.

Our 2022 Age Boom media training will focus on new policies and programs needed to preserve caregiver health, longevity and financial security. Experts will help journalists examine the consequences of longevity for informal caregivers across socioeconomic statuses, the opportunity costs for families and employers of our national reliance on informal caregivers and the novel privatesector approaches to alleviating the burden on caregivers as policies lag behind society’s need to cope with a rapidly aging population.

During Age Boom, Fellows will learn about the issues through sources and envision new angles to enhance reporting.

Fellows will have oneonone interviews with experts and participate in informal breakout discussions with people who are caregiving for an older relative. Fellows will also join a story clinic led by seasoned journalists, allowing them to deepen plans for covering stories. The 2022 speakers include geriatrician and public health leader Linda Fried;
MacArthur grantee and creativecare innovator Anne Basting; AARP’s Public Policy Institute director Susan Reinhard; and Keeping It Real Caregiving founder Julia Yarbough, as well as many others.

Access the PDF release here

Bruce Shapiro, a professor at the Columbia Journalism School, will guide journalists through their training. He will be assisted by noted journalists covering aging topics: Rich Eisenberg (MarketWatch “unretirement” columnist and former managing editor at Next Avenue), Chris Farrell (Public Media’s Marketplace), Kerry Hannon (senior columnist Yahoo Finance and New York Times contributor), and Carol Hymowitz (former editor Bloomberg News and The Wall Street Journal).

For more information contact: Caitlin Hawke, Associate Director, Programming, Columbia Aging Center [email protected]
Funded by a generous grant from the RRF Foundation on Aging