For fifteen years, Lynda Steele has played a pivotal role in Edmonton’s public spotlight. Through her extensive experience in broadcast journalism across western Canada’s newsrooms, Lynda has established a well-recognized and reputable position. Within Edmonton, she has been honoured numerous times for her prominent place in the media and within the community. It therefore came as no surprise that after announcing her upcoming departure from Global in August 2011, a frenzy was sparked among loyal Edmontonians. For weeks after the announcement, Edmonton expressed – through blogs, letters to newspaper editors, and tweets – a genuine disappointment to see a favourite Edmonton icon move away. Very few local leaders have achieved the calibre of trust and commitment from citizens within their city that Lynda holds.
From an early time in her life, Lynda has loved writing. She knew that she wanted to be a part of a team, do something different everyday, and tell other’s stories, so broadcasting was simply a ‘good fit’. Lynda loves being an expert on so many subjects and that she has had the opportunity to play an active role in events that helped shape Edmonton to what it is today. Working as a journalist has allowed her to cover a spectrum of stories: from tragic events to personal accounts of profound triumph and inspiration.
When Lynda first entered broadcasting, she was inundated with challenges. One of the greatest challenges she recalls was simply differentiating herself from competitors. In her words, 75% of the people competing for the same job were young, Caucasian women. Therefore, like many new graduates just about to enter the working world, Lynda needed to set herself apart to succeed. She leveraged her strong work ethic, passion, and ability to develop good relationships, took risks where others refused and was willing to “think big”. Her dedication paid off – eventually landing her the co-anchor position she has now. Still today, Lynda attributes much of her success to hard work and creative risks.
Lynda’s prominent role within Edmonton’s community has garnered a lot of personal attention. As a local celebrity, she is often greeted by complete strangers who feel as though they know her. She even recalls intense conversations with people who she has never met before – because they immediately trusted her. Fortunately, Lynda hasn’t experienced very much negative attention directly. In public, she always considers herself to be an ambassador - both for Global News and for Edmonton.
To date, Lynda recognizes the success of her first book, “Laptop Diaries” as her greatest accomplishment. The book was a collection of columns written by Lynda for the Edmonton Journal and all of the proceeds from sales of the book went directly to Alberta’s women’s shelters. “Laptop Diaries” sold out of all 5,000 copies in only a few short weeks and raised thousands of dollars for women’s shelters. Lynda said the project was particularly gratifying because it was really all for the shelters. As she says, “no one was trying to get anything from it”.
Through her unwavering dedication, empathy and professionalism, Lynda has achieved a level in the Edmonton community that can’t easily be matched. Her daily presence within Edmontonians’ homes as a reliable and highly trusted news source will be missed, but never forgotten. To many, Lynda Steele’s empathy, professionalism, and class has become the epitome of what the City of Edmonton aspires to be.
Over the course of fifteen years, Lynda says that news has changed tremendously: there is less of a focus on community, less control over airwaves, and much greater element of big – ticket news stories. People have become more cynical about the news, but have also questioned the media more and held the government to a greater degree of accountability.