A new media initiative aims to shed light on caregivers for older adults and investigate potential solutions to their challenges. WXXI and nine other media outlets in western New York are tackling the issue as part of a journalism collaborative supported by the Solutions Journalism Network.
Other members of the news collaborative include the Democrat and Chronicle, Minority Reporter, La Voz, and News10NBC in Rochester, and WBFO, WGRZ, The Buffalo News, the Niagara Gazette and the Lockport Union-Sun & Journal in the Buffalo area. Community partners include the MAGIC Center at the Rochester Institute of Technology and a journalism professor at St. John Fisher College.
This spring, the initiative will expand to include news and community organizations in Southeast Michigan, becoming the first interstate collaborative supported by the Solutions Journalism Network. The New York & Michigan Solutions Journalism Collaborative -- as the interstate collaborative will be called -- is made possible through a grant from the Ralph C. Wilson, Jr. Foundation. The foundation makes grants in the Western New York and Southeast Michigan regions, honoring Wilson's connections to both Buffalo and Detroit.
This collaborative is modeled on other successful news collaboratives supported by the Solutions Journalism Network. As a solutions-oriented project, Invisible Army: Caregiving on the Front Lines, will produce rigorous reporting on successful responses to challenges experienced by caregivers and older adults.
Caregivers are in short supply due to a rapidly growing older population that is living longer and requiring more assistance. The caregivers who step up -- both family members and those who are paid to do the job -- face many physical, emotional and financial challenges that have been exacerbated by the pandemic.
The collaborative is publishing news content with the goal of raising awareness about caregiving issues and introducing the community to replicable ideas that have been vetted by a team of journalists.
If you have story ideas, the collaborative would like to hear from you. Please e-mail Karen Magnuson, project director for the Solutions Journalism Network, at firstname.lastname@example.org.