Linda Solomon Wood

Linda Solomon Wood founded the Vancouver Observer and is CEO of Observer Media Group.  Linda is currently developing "The National Observer", which will launch this fall with a focus on energy politics.

Award-Winning Publisher and Editor-in-Chief:
In 2014 and 2012 the Vancouver Observer team was honoured with a Canadian Journalism Foundation Excellence in Journalism Award (Small Media). The Vancouver Observer was a finalist for the award in 2012.  The Excellence in Journalism Award honours an organization that embodies exemplary journalistic standards and practices.  In 2010 the Vancouver Observer team received the Canadian Online Publishing Award for “Best Online-Only Articles” (Green Category) for reporting on "Lost Canadians".  It 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.

Award-Winning Journalist:
While working at the Tennessean newspaper in the seventies, Linda 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 (co-authored with Carolyn Shoulders and written under the direction of John Seigenthaler, who was publisher of the newspaper at the time.).  US Senate Hearings were held as a result of the series and the committee received testimony from a number of the public housing project residents who were being sold burial insurance policies with fine print that ensured they would never pay off.  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.  

Linda won the Lincoln University Unity Award for Economic Reporting for a series on life in Nashville's public housing projects produced with Dwight Lewis, also under the direction of Siegenthaler. 

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).

Books: "Why I Love Vancouver", by Linda Solomon, 2009, Vancouver Observer Publications, Out of Print

"Extract: The Pipeline Wars, Vol. 1 Enbridge", by Vancouver Observer reporting team, edited by Linda Solomon, Carrie Saxifrage, Jenny Uechi, released 2012 by Vancouver Observer Publications, buy it here

Short Story Publications: Linda's short fiction and literary nonfiction has appeared in Alabama Literary Review,  Cimmaron Review, Gulf Coast Review, St. Anne's Review, Orion and Geist Magazine. Her writing on the Buddhist teacher Thich Nhat Hanh has been anthologized in a collection published by Parallax Press. In 2007 she was short-listed for a CBC Literary Prize for her story about a United Nations media specialist working in Cambodia entitled, "A Point in the Battle".

Web: Linda was an early Internet pioneer, co-founding and co-writing in 1996  thecouch.com, an online comedy about 8 New Yorkers in group therapy.  The New York Daily News described thecouch.com as "The New Yorker meets Rent in cyberspace".  When she first came to Vancouver, she wrote and reported occasionally 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.

Radio: Linda briefly produced and was a host on WBAI radio in New York City.

Teaching: Linda has led workshops on many aspects of the reporting and writing process at The Women's Institute of Continuing Education in Paris, Emerson College's European summer program, Hollyhock, and Emily Carr University of Art + Design where she taught "The Art of Blogging".  Most recently, Linda taught "The Power of Story" at Island Mountain Arts in Wells, British Columbia. 

Education: Linda received an MFA from Vermont College and did her undergraduate studies at Northwestern University, where she majored in American Culture.

2012-2014  Panels, Public Speaking, Etc.: Board of Change, Women in Leadership panel-moderator; SAP, Diversity Panel, moderator;  SFU Women in Digital Media panelist; CRED forum panel on Kinder Morgan pipeline proposal, "Responsible Economic Development" panelist;,  Women Making Cities Social Media panelist, Social Change Institute, How to Leverage Media panelist with David Roberts of Grist, Northern Voice talk: "What makes a story go viral?", Island Mountain Arts Gallery talk: "Journalism in the Time of Heroes" + readings from the edge of the oil sands; Presenting at Rogue Pecha Kucha, Nov. 7, 2013 with slide show entitled: "How can we build an energy bridge to the future?", Capilano College International Women's Day, "Journalism Matters", March 3, 2014, Langara College Magazine Writing, "On Being a Digital Journapreneur"   Pegasus Conference on Sustainability and Public Health, Toronto, May 2, 2014, WeCapella Digital Influencers Conference,  talk entitled: "It Rained Stories", May 6, 2014, Simon Fraser University talk: "Building compassionate community," June 2014.  Linda occasionally provides energy politics news analysis on The Real News Canada Report.

Linda lived for six years in Paris before moving to New York City in 1994. She immigrated to Canada in 2001 and became a citizen in 2012. 

Below: Linda Solomon Wood's 2010 speech to Model UN in Vancouver: "What can one person do?"

Darren Aronofsky finds Biblical lessons in the tar sands

Canada's laissez-faire approach toward the tar sands reminded Darren Aronofsky of America's attitude toward Wall Street.

Leonardo DiCaprio and Darren Aronofsky receive gift of moccasins in remote Fort Chip

Leonardo Di Caprio's car drove into town and the megastar jumped out and walked straight to the banks of  the Athabasca Lake. He  took in the beauty. A small group consisting of chiefs and...
Fort McKay student tells of mixed bag of living legacy of oil sands

A chief's granddaughter struggles with the good and the evil of oil sands legacy

"When you drive up to Fort McKay, you can automatically tell where you are...you see smoke going up in the sky from Syncrude," Feather Mcdonald, 17, said.  "It's like, 'ew, that smell.'" ...
Leonardo DeCaprio and oil sands tar sands - Vancouver Observer

Leonardo DiCaprio brings Hollywood star power to Fort Chip

Leonardo DiCaprio -- the global superstar actor behind The Wolf of Wall Street and Titanic fame -- crashed the remote village of Fort Chipewyan, in the oil sands region of...

Eli Pivnick sees a future with less jet-setting, more local living

Eli Pivnick has faith in resilient local communities to create a future that doesn't depend on fossil fuels.

John Seigenthaler inspired young reporters to practice journalism as "fearless voice of people, public trust"

John Seigenthaler embodied the best of what journalism can be, "a fearless voice of the people, a public trust."

Fort McKay's oil sands prosperity comes at cost of air quality

"How does the air smell to you?" he asks. "Bad," I say, "really bad."What does it smell like?
Tim Moen,  Libertarian Party, Ft. McMurray, Alberta

"Tar Sands Messiah" satirizes Hollywood critics of Fort McMurray

Striking back after one insult too many.

A life cut short in Fort McMurray raises questions about cancer rates near oil sands

Syncrude manager Barbara Jewers' tragic death may be linked to years of oil sands exposure, say doctor and surviving partner.

Bob Rae calls treaties the "trillion dollar exchange" that created two worlds we must now bridge

"We have two worlds. We have two narratives. We have two understandings. And we have these gaps."