Skip to content

University of Toronto Fellowship in Journalism
& Health Impact

Our program combines mentored reporting for global media with courses in multimedia journalism. You can focus on issues you know and care about. Our coaching continues for two years after you graduate with no additional fees.

This Journalism Fellowship is built on four pillars:

1. The Boot Camp (Sept. 9, 2024 to Sept. 20, 2024)

The Fellowship begins with a 10-day boot camp, during which fellows learn the foundations of journalism. You can attend the boot camp in person or online. You’ll start learning:

  • Story ideas and news judgment. Successful journalism starts with great story ideas. You’ll start learning how to find news stories on your beat and distinguish strong story ideas from weak ones.
  • A story idea is only as strong as the pitch you make to an editor. Pitching is a precise art. We’ll teach you how to structure story pitches that work.
  • Reporting essentials. You’ll start learning how to break news with an efficient and thorough reporting strategy.
  • Structuring the 600-800 word news feature. Your editors will also teach you how to draft a compelling feature of up to 800 words — the typical length that most news services make available.

2. Mentored Freelancing to News Organizations Around the World

Every fellow is assigned to a six-person “bureau” under the mentorship of a highly experienced journalist. Right after the boot camp, you’ll start hunting for stories and vetting those ideas with your bureau chief. We’ll send your pitches to our media partners every week. When our partners commission your idea, you’ll report it for them under our mentorship.

Mentorship. Mentorship sets this Fellowship apart from other journalism training. Notably, it ensures that fellows are supported in a way that few journalists are at the beginning of their journalism careers. We assign each fellow to a small “bureau” under the leadership of an experienced journalist acting as “bureau chief.” The bureau chief mentors them individually on their story judgment, pitching, reporting, and writing. Our journalism mentorship has three dimensions:

  • The Bureau Meeting. Fellows meet as a group with their bureau chiefs every week to review pitches, debrief experiences and plan their careers. You can attend bureau meetings in person or online.
  • Your bureau chief edits the first drafts of every story you write before you file it to our media partners. Editing is treated as a core learning experience.
  • One-on-Ones. Your bureau chief will also meet with you individually to discuss your stories and your broader experiences.

Freelance work. Each fellow is part of a pool reporting for members of our media network, including major news organizations in the US and Canada. We also support fellows as they pitch and file stories to other media around the world, including specialized media focused on a fellow’s own discipline.

3.  Curriculum (Oct. 8, 2024 to March 18, 2025)

After the boot camp, we continue to deepen fellows’ journalism skills with skills courses taught on one Friday and Saturday each month:

  • October 11-12
  • November 15-16
  • December 13-14
  • January 10-11
  • February 7-8
  • March 14-15

If you’re based in Toronto, you can join us on campus at U of T; if you’re outside of Toronto, you can join us via live videoconference — the experience is the same.

Our curriculum includes:

  • Clean writing: Learn how to write your stories using the kind of clear copy that editors expect. You’ll also learn how to edit your work to fix mistakes before filing using Canadian Press/Associated Press style.
  • Interviewing skills: Discover effective tools for building a relationship with sources through interviews. Your own experiences will provide the building blocks for stronger interviewing skills.
  • Social media: Find out how to use social media to participate constructively in the public debate, source information, and promote your work.
  • Audio training:  Identify the qualities of a compelling podcast or audio journalism, including basic production.
  • Investigative journalism: Understand when a story idea merits an investigative approach and how to uncover information others want to hide.
  • Opinion writing: Establish how to develop compelling op-ed ideas, pitch them and write them.
  • Longform: Learn how to conceive, report and write the kind of long-form journalism that appears in major magazines.
  • Freelance tradecraft: Explore how to deploy these skills after the Fellowship
  • Performance:  Learn how to present your ideas powerfully in an interview with a TV or radio host.

4. Coaching for two years after the program

(April 2025 – April 2027)

Through monthly bureau meetings with the program’s bureau chiefs, fellows continue to receive free journalism coaching for two years after the program. Fellows can attend these monthly meetings online from anywhere in the world.

Fellows graduate in March 2025 with a Certificate in Journalism and Health Impact from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.