For more than a decade, CEO and editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood has been a leader in the digital re-invention of Canadian media and has helped to drive the national conversation on the environment, politics and climate change. She founded Canada's National Observer in 2015 and since has worked to establish a national publication that is rigorous about accuracy and that adheres to the highest standard of ethics. Coverage of the race against climate change at the intersection of politics, technology and culture is at the heart of CNO's mission and has been called essential by climate leaders such as David Suzuki, Maude Barlow and Bill McKibben. In 2017, Canada's then-Governor General David Johnston called National Observer, 'the little engine that could'. National Observer became a member of The Trust Project in 2020. Its opinion and analysis section provides a powerful platform for experts from every province to analyze and critique government policy on climate change and the environment and related issues.
National Observer made history as the first all-digital publication to win a National Newspaper Award and a Michener Award citation. The Election Integrity Reporting Project placed National Observer at the center of Canada’s battle against online disinformation and electoral manipulation.
Linda has brought together a team that spans Canada to report on climate change, food security, disinformation, and regional and federal politics. In 2020, National Observer became a member of The Trust Project. It was certified as a B Corporation in 2017. After initially raising money for the publication through crowdfunding on Kickstarter, she moved National Observer to become a pay-walled publication in 2017.
As CEO of Observer Media Group and founder and editor-in-chief of Canada's National Observer, Linda has developed a business model that is supporting and sustaining public service journalism that investigates corruption, celebrates innovation, and illuminates and helps to make sense of the complex political and social challenges people face today.She expands National Observer's readership and impact through collaborations and partnerships with The Climate Desk (Mother Jones), The Centre for Investigative Journalism at Concordia University and, most recently The Investigative Journalism Bureau at the Dalla Lana School of Public Health at the University of Toronto.
In 2020, she launched a live online interview series sponsored by Canada's National Observer and produced by The Canadian Centre for Journalism that included guests Noam Chomsky, David Suzuki, Dick Fadden, Sandy Houston, Minister Catherine McKenna and Amy Goodman among many others.
She previously founded Vancouver Observer and has led both Observers to win Canada's top awards for public service, investigative journalism and excellence in reporting. She won the Vancouver Board of Trade's Wendy McDonald Award for Entrepreneurial Innovation in 2015.
She serves on the board of Community Newspapers Reciprocal Insurance Exchange, a Canadian not-for-profit organization, that provides crucial libel insurance as well as media law education, training and pre-publication advice for newspapers and digital news media. She also founded the now retired online news site, the Vancouver Observer, and served as its editor for six years.
Born and raised in Chattanooga, Tennessee, Linda began her journalism career as an investigative reporter at The Tennessean in Nashville. There she won the United Press International awards for Best Public Service Reporting and Best Investigative Reporting and the John Finney award for outstanding economics reporting. She later wrote for publications such as The Los Angeles Times, Orion, and the International Herald Tribune.
She lived in Paris and New York City before immigrating to Canada in 2001.
The Canadian government launched a new program in 2020 to address the hundreds of journalism jobs being lost, the dozens of news organizations being shuttered and the obliteration of the old revenue model for journalism, Canada's National Observer editor-in-chief Linda Solomon Wood writes.
As of Sunday, around 4 million acres have been scorched by wildfires in California, Washington and Oregon. These fires are a reminder that for all our struggles with COVID-19, climate change remains the number one threat against human civilization. Yet even now, we can't even acknowledge this reality.
At a time when the media ranks are shrinking, Canada’s National Observer continues to take deep dives into crucial matters of public policy. Sometimes, we do this through partnerships and collaborations such as the ‘Tainted Water’ series from 2019 and ‘Price of Oil’ investigations from 2018.