Linda Austin is an award-winning editor and educator, schooled in instructional design and experienced in international teaching, online learning, journalism-curriculum and training development. She is the project co-director for NewsTrain, a training initiative sponsored by Associated Press Media Editors. Austin has worked with local media organizations to identify training needs, devising and teaching at digital-skills workshops that served more than 1,400 journalists.
Previously, she organized workshops, webinars and other training events that reached more than 10,500 journalists globally as executive director of the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University’s Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication.
Before that, Austin led three local newsrooms — in Greensboro, North Carolina; Fort Wayne, Indiana; and Lexington, Kentucky — to seven national and 41 state awards during a time of digital transformation. She was a two-time Pulitzer Prize juror.
Austin received a prestigious appointment as a Fulbright Scholar, the first to teach journalism in Burma, and a Luce Scholar, to report in Singapore. She also was a visiting professor in the Global Business Journalism Program at Tsinghua University in Beijing, known as the MIT of China. She has been selected as a Fulbright Specialist, teaching at Romania’s largest and most illustrious university, Babeș-Bolyai.
Among her most prized possessions is a Plexiglas plaque from a former student that reads, “You may not remember everything you said. But we will remember how special you made us feel. Thank you, Professor!”
In addition, as a Reynolds Journalism Institute Fellow at the University of Missouri, she developed the first course in digital journalism delivered via bite-size lessons on smartphones, known as mobile microlearning.
She has also been a fellow in the Punch Sulzberger News Media Executive Leadership Program at Columbia University.
Austin earned a master’s degree in educational technology from Arizona State University and a bachelor’s degree in journalism with highest honors from the University of North Carolina.
She lives on a lake in Indiana, where she likes to cross-country ski, ice skate and kayak. As a reporter, she was once handcuffed to her computer terminal by an editor in a humorous effort to ensure she made deadline.