|Born||1957 (age 56–57)
Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
Macdonald was born and raised in Quebec City. His father was Percy Macdonald, a Scottish-Canadian who served with the Canadian Army during World War II and helped liberate the Netherlands. His mother is Ferne Macdonald (née Mains). His brother is comedian/actor Norm Macdonald.
After graduating from Algonquin College in Ottawa, Macdonald worked first as a print journalist. He joined the CBC in 1988 and covered Canadian Parliament for approximately a decade. He then served for five years (1998–2003) as the network's chief Middle East correspondent.
Macdonald was involved in a public dispute with Canadian media mogul Leonard Asper in 2003. Asper had accused Macdonald of being "anti-Israeli" after taking exception to some of the CBC's Middle East coverage. Macdonald responded with a rebuttal in the Globe and Mail, accusing Asper of defamation and alleging editorial censorship in the Asper-owned CanWest media outlets.
In November 2010, Macdonald led a CBC investigation into the United Nations International Independent Investigation Commission and the Special Tribunal for Lebanon, which had been mandated with solving the murder of former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri. The report uncovered documents suggesting the UN investigative body had strong evidence to link the Shia paramilitary group Hezbollah to the 2005 bombing that killed Hariri, and that the UN had not acted on this intelligence due to diplomatic concerns. Macdonald's report also sharply criticized the performance of the Special Tribunal's head prosecutor, Daniel Bellemare, who responded that he was "extremely disappointed" with the report.
- "Neil Macdonald". CBC Newsworld. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Story, Jared. "Norm Macdonald talks to Uptown". Uptown. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
-  TVGuide biography of Norm Macdonald lists CBC journalist Neil Macdonald as his older brother.
- Wingfield Nesbitt-Larking, Paul (2007). Politics, society, and the media. Canada: Broadview Press. pp. 121–122. ISBN 9781551118123. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Potter, Mitch (Nov 21, 2010). "UN had evidence linking Hezbollah to murder of Lebanese PM: CBC". Toronto Star. Retrieved 2010-12-12.
- Martin, Patrick (Nov 23, 2010). "Lebanese PM slams CBC news report". Globe and Mail. Retrieved 2010-12-13.
- "Canada's Award Database". Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television. Retrieved 2010-12-12.