Phoenix Older Adults Become Senior Correspondents
Time forges wisdom. Experience sharpens perspective. And storytelling unleashes passion.
That’s the testimony of a group of Phoenix older adults who publish a newsletter for The Beatitudes Campus and share their stories with the world through the online news venture Senior Correspondent.
“We bring something distinctive to the Senior Correspondent forum,” says Ray Maldoon, editor of the resident-produced newsletter Roadrunner Extra! “Without this special community, these stories might otherwise never be told.”
As the award-winning Senior Correspondent celebrates its fourth anniversary this month with the launch of a free mobile application, partnerships with communities like the Beatitudes are key to fulfilling the venture’s mission to amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society.
“We believe that people seek the perspective that comes with age,” says Senior Correspondent founder and CEO Daniel Pryfogle. “Amid the constant buzz of 24-7 news, people are hungry for the long view, which means context, history and insight born of experience. The stories of older adults are essential for a vibrant culture and healthy democracy.”
Senior Correspondent and the Beatitudes formed a partnership four years ago. The community’s former CEO, Peggy Mullan, shared with Pryfogle a copy of Roadrunner Extra!
“Most senior living communities have newsletters, but I immediately saw that this one was different,” Pryfogle says. “Instead of just calendar listings and puzzles, Roadrunner Extra! is filled with first-person stories about life experiences with unique perspectives on historic moments and cultural changes. This is exactly what we want to share through Senior Correspondent.”
Roadrunner Extra! is the brainchild of the Beatitudes Writers’ Group. The newsletter is written, edited, produced and distributed by the group’s members.
Formed in 2009, the Writers’ Group consists of residents who meet biweekly to discuss their stories. Before retirement, some of these residents made a living from writing. There were a few poets and several educators. Others were realtors and salesmen, soldiers and musicians. Despite differing backgrounds, they’ve all come together for a central purpose — to share their voices.
“Our residents capture and share their inspiring stories with the world,” says Michelle Just, the Beatitudes’ current president and CEO. “I’m continually in awe at the stories told – they are priceless and poignant.”
Older adults make up the fastest growing population in the United States, but today’s media often ignores older adults in favor of younger audiences. Senior Correspondent turns that bias on its head by actively recruiting older journalists and other writers like those at the Beatitudes. Senior Correspondent also enlists younger people to document the stories of older adults.
Senior Correspondent’s groundbreaking social media app, which is available now for Android users and will be released soon for iOS, provides a “seasoned view of the world” by combining the reporting of older journalists with crowdsourced first-person stories documented by users of all ages. The app enables users to explore news and opinion from older adults, take on assignments to enrich reporting, and publish stories using the photography, video and audio tools of a mobile device. Senior Correspondent curates user contributions on its award-winning website, SeniorCorrespondent.com.
Senior Correspondents such as the Beatitudes residents write about life, love, war, family, childhood, politics and more. For them, their published content is a reminder that what they have to say does, indeed, matter.
“They have the pride of seeing their stories in print,” says Maldoon. “That’s what keeps us going.”
About Senior Correspondent
Senior Correspondent (www.seniorcorrespondent.com) is a venture of Signal Hill (www.signalhillspot.com), a Cary, N.C.-based leadership and communications consultancy. The award-winning Senior Correspondent delivers unique perspectives on U.S. and world news, politics, arts, sports, travel, health, technology, money and work across multiple platforms. Senior Correspondent’s mission is to amplify the voices of older adults for the good of society. The free Senior Correspondent app is available now on Google Play at https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.seniorcorrespondent. The app will be released soon at the iOS App Store.