Linda Solomon Wood is CEO of Observer Media Group and founder and editor-in-chief of National Observer, a leading source for investigative reporting and daily news focused on climate, energy and the environment in Canada.
National Observer exposes the interests that stand in the way of public health, social progress and environmental justice. National Observer also highlights vision and innovation at the intersection of technology, business and the environment.
Winner of 'Independent Publisher of the Year', 'Best News Coverage,' 'Best Digital Solution,' and 'Best Column' at the 2016 Canadian Online Publishers Awards, National Observer is widely hailed as a leader in the evolving world of digital journalism. National Observer made history in May 2016 as the first digital only publication ever to win a prestigious National Newspaper Award. The award came in the business reporting category for a series by Bruce Livesey. National Observer also won a Canadian Association of Journalism award for 2016 in Investigative Reporting for Mike De Souza's series on apparent conflicts of interest in Canada's pipeline regulatory system. Making history again, National Observer was named as a finalist in the 2016 Michener Awards, Canada's top prize for journalism in the public interest. The award-winner will be named on June 14.
A recipient of a 2015 Vancouver Board of Trade Wendy MacDonald Award for Entrepreneurial Innovation, Linda started Vancouver Observer in 2009 on a laptop in her living room to fill a gap in local reporting.
Vancouver Observer grew to serve a readership of 400,000 monthly by 2013. In 2014 and 2012 the Vancouver Observer team was honoured with a Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award (Small Media). Vancouver Observer was a finalist for the award in 2013. The Excellence in Journalism Award honours an organization that embodies exemplary journalistic standards and practices.
National Observer was later a finalist for the CJF Excellence in Journalism Award for 2015, while receiving 4 nominations from the Canadian Association of Journalists for various awards. The Association for the Protection of Fur-Bearing Animals honoured Observer Media Group's deep dive into animal rights with an award in 2014 and has named National Observer's work again for reporting carried out in 2015.
In 2010 the Vancouver Observer team received the Canadian Online Publishing Award for “Best Online-Only Articles” (Green Category) for reporting on "Lost Canadians" and was a finalist in categories including Best Overall Site and Best Design. In 2011, the Vancouver Observer was a finalist for Best Overall Site, Best Articles and won silver for Best Newsletter. In 2012, the Vancouver Observer was honoured as a finalist for Best Articles, again in the Green category.
Linda has reported on women changing their societies against huge odds from Africa, India, Europe and across North America. Her first job was at the Tennessean newspaper, where she won the United Press International Award for Best Public Service Reporting and the UPI Award for Best Investigative Reporting for a series of articles on Industrial Life Insurance.
US Senate Hearings were triggered by the series. The hearings, led by the late Senator Howard Meztenbaum, resulted in federal regulations regarding "industrial insurance" being changed to make the sale of it illegal. In 1978, the editors of the Tennessean made a nomination of this body of work for a Pulitzer Prize in the local reporting category.
She also won the Lincoln University Unity Award for Economic Reporting for a series on the challenges of life in Nashville's public housing projects.
A second time Linda's reporting led to federal legislative hearings, this time based on a series she wrote on discrimination against nurse-midwives by doctors (chaired by Al Gore who was then a U.S. congressman, as well as a former Tennessean reporter).
When she first came to Vancouver, she occasionally wrote for The Tyee. Her 2007 story on a Vancouver therapist who was Googled by customs officials at the U.S.-Canada border and was then refused entry to America became the basis for a Colbert Report.
Linda lived and worked for six years in Paris before moving to New York City in 1994. She immigrated to Canada in 2001 and became a dual U.S.-Canadian citizen in 2012. She lives with her husband and three children in Vancouver. Her fourth child is a student at University of Victoria.