On the heels of the successful Broken Budgets national reporting project, The Associated Press and APME have launched another project that should also resonate with readers.
While Broken Budgets continues to examine how state and local governments are dealing with the nation's fiscal crisis, the new Aging America project is telling the story of aging baby boomers.
The oldest among the boomers are reaching retirement age, and there are millions to follow. The project will look at the impact – costs, strains and positive influences – that this so-called silver tsunami will have on the communities in which they live.
With the expanded resources of a joint project, we should be able to drill down to the state and local level to tell the story of what happens when the population ages. And aging it is: 10,000 people will turn 65 every day for the next 20 years or so. By 2050, 1 in 5 Americans will be seniors
The project will examine health, business, transportation, recreational and residential issues, among others.
Aging America stories already have started moving, accompanied by a logo.
Although we anticipate that a large portion of the series will be enterprise, we will fold in spot, breaking news where appropriate.
The reaction thus far has been positive. One editor called it an "incredible series” on an important topic.
The project model employed by AP and the Associated Press Media Editors leverages the resources of the AP and news organizations across the country. Collectively, we develop ideas on these topics, and go deep and wide with the reporting. The result has been an amazing collection of front-page stories, many of which were bolstered with localized reports.
To join in, members don't have to engage in a full-blown collaboration. When your staff does a particularly compelling story on the state's fiscal problems or aging boomers, point it out to your AP bureau chief for use as a member exchange; localize one of the upcoming stories; and kick in ideas for full collaborations.
Terry Spencer, AP news editor in Miami, will be the news editor for the project. He will oversee the content, but stories will be edited on the regional desks. His email address is TSpencer@ap.org.
Ebony Reed, AP assistant chief of bureau for New England, is taking the lead among the bureau chiefs, and Alan Miller, managing editor of The Columbus (Ohio) Dispatch will be liaison with APME. Carole Feldman, AP director of news operations and finance in Washington, is the overall coordinator. Their emails are: EReed@ap.org, firstname.lastname@example.org, and CFeldman@ap.org.
The goal is to set up a team of reporters for the project – at AP and in member newsrooms around the country.
As with the Broken Budgets series, this will be a rolling, ongoing series with contributions from the AP and from members. In many cases, the stories will be structured in such a way that members can localize them, and we will seek to give advance notice of stories and offer advice on data or other resources to aid in localizing them.