The 12-month residential AP-NORC Fellowship will enable Sedensky to spend the next year in Chicago working with world-class research scientists, economists and others to develop the economic and analytical skills needed to produce research-based enterprise journalism focused on a rapidly aging American workforce.
Sedensky, who has been an AP reporter for the past ten years, was awarded the fellowship after a national competition open to mid-career journalists currently employed by the AP or by any Associated Press Media Editors (APME) news organization.
The fellowship was established by the AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research with funding from the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation. The AP-NORC Center is a joint venture of the AP and the independent research organization NORC at the University of Chicago.
"Matt Sedensky is a highly skilled journalist who has covered many issues for the AP, while emerging as a national journalistic authority on aging," said Trevor Tompson, director of the AP-NORC Center. "The fellowship will provide training in economics, econometric analysis, and research methods and their application to journalism on issues of an aging workforce."
"The aging beat is full of gems of stories and really meaningful journalism," said Sedensky. "I'm grateful for the opportunity to devote the next year to a topic I find so fascinating and rewarding."
As the AP-NORC Fellow, Sedensky will also write a series of in-depth stories on economic issues linked to the aging workforce that will run on the media platforms of the AP. He will also participate in original AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research projects related to the economics of aging and work.
Other elements of the fellowship include:
• Access to the research and academic resources of the University of Chicago, including its renowned economics faculty, and the broader economics research community.
• A senior NORC scientist as a mentor throughout the fellowship. NORC at the University of Chicago carries out many of the largest social science research initiatives funded by the federal government, including the General Social Survey, second only to the U.S. Census as a source of research-based information on many aspects of American life.
• A highly individualized training program including one-on-one tutorials, seminars, and the opportunity to audit selected University of Chicago courses.
Sedensky joined the AP in 2002, working as a reporter in its Hartford, Conn. Honolulu, Kansas City, Mo. and Miami bureaus, and for the past two years as a correspondent in West Palm Beach, Fla. He has traveled widely, covering many of the most important stories of the past decade, including Hurricane Katrina, the Virginia Tech shootings, the Vatican handling of sex abuse cases, and historic Mississippi River flooding. He has won numerous awards for his coverage.
Over the course of the past four years, his work has included the national AP aging beat. Sedensky was named top beat writer in 2009 by the Florida Society of News Editors.
"That’s some nice work, particularly on a beat that doesn’t normally provide the major breaking news or corruption investigations often needed to win such awards," wrote Terry Spencer, Florida News Editor for the AP, "He had to win it with solid ideas, solid reporting, and solid writing."
Sedensky is a 2002 graduate in journalism from New York University. His AP-NORC Fellowship begins early in March.
Information about the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research is available at: www.apnorc.org.