A series of news reports seeks to answer the question: “Is my community a good place to grow old?”
The series — “When the longevity revolution hits your town” — is significant on two fronts:
- First, it explores a topic of interest for Baby Boomers as they consider how they’ll age in the community in which they want to live;
- Second, it demonstrates a new kind of pay-to-play journalism.
Let’s examine the first point first.
The age friendly value of a community is important, according to the introduction to the series: “That question is becoming more urgent as 78 million US boomers race toward retirement like a ‘silver tsunami’ that, by its sheer size and market power, will change the way we think about aging. The answer will likely redefine retirement, not only for boomers but for the generations that follow.”
The three-part series focuses its attention on communities in northern California. But the examination of the issue is instructive everywhere because cities and towns across the country have varying resources and strategies of dealing with the graying population of Baby Boomers.
“If you took a tour of Northern California, you’d see a microcosm of what’s happening elsewhere. Big cities like Sacramento are better prepared, thanks, in part, to a downtown ripe for redevelopment. Others like San Rafael, the county seat of the nation’s richest county, are watching new housing proposals dry up as the economy contracts. And not one city has figured out how services for different age groups can complement one another,” writes O’Connor in Part Two.
“Planning prudently now can mean the difference between a highly livable multigenerational city that succeeds, or bankrupt communities struggling with poverty and street crime.”
Read the “longevity revolution” series here.
On the second level is the concept of pay-to-play reporting. Spot.Us invites story suggestions. When an idea is accepted, as it was with the aging series, Spot.Us goes looking for the funding from individuals to pay for the reporting. Spot.Us raised $1,000 to support this particular project. (See an examination of community-funded journalism here.)
Spot.Us is currently looking for funding for its next accepted project: “Will Oakland Survive the Next Earthquake?”