“Atul Gawande is a model of a guy who is active in his field, but in his journalism he’s actually a reporter,” Robert Steiner said. “He’s not just opining and writing op-ed pieces.”

It’s the hope of creating more Gawandes that brought a diverse group of professionals — several doctors, lawyers, an art curator, and the director of a human-rights education NGO — to Toronto this month to start an eight-month-long program at the University of Toronto’s Munk School of Global Affairs to be trained as reporters. The school’s Fellowship in Global Journalism was developed in response to cutbacks in traditional outlets that have often shrunk the numbers of beat reporters who are truly specialists in their area of coverage.

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