Television journalist and author Laura Ling – known widely for her capture and release several years ago by North Korea – will speak at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 28, in James B. Woulfe Alumni Hall in Anderson Student Center on the St. Paul campus of the University of St. Thomas.
Her talk, titled “Journey of Hope,” is sponsored by St. Thomas’ University Lectures Committee. The talk is free and open to the public.
As director of development for Discovery Digital Networks, Ling oversees the creation and production of original Web series and is also the host of “Going Off Grid,” a program about those who are disconnected from the modern world, and “Rituals With Laura Ling,” a program about the psyche and habits of extraordinary individuals.
Prior to joining Discovery Digital Networks, Ling hosted two documentary series carried on the E! Network: “E! Investigates” and “Society X With Laura Ling.” The shows investigated such topics as teen suicide, the challenges faced by military spouses and America’s underground youth subcultures.
Previously, Ling served as vice president of Current TV’s journalism department and created the investigative documentary series “Vanguard.” As a “Vanguard” correspondent, she traveled the world to report on topics such as slave labor in the Amazon, the drug war in Mexico, Internet censorship in China and women’s rights in Turkey. Under her leadership, “Vanguard” received the Alfred I. DuPont Award and several Emmy nominations.
In March 2009, while reporting on the trafficking of North Korean women, Ling and her colleague Euna Lee were detained by North Korean soldiers along the Chinese-North Korean border. They were arrested and held captive in North Korea for 140 days before being granted a special pardon and returned to the United States.
Ling documented her experience in the 2010 memoir, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, that she wrote with her sister, Lisa.
As a correspondent for “SoCal Connected,” the news magazine series carried by the California-based public television station KCET, Ling’s work was recognized with both an Emmy and an Edward R. Murrow award. Ling has served as a producer for Channel One News and co-created “Breaking it Down,” a documentary series on MTV that aired between 1999 and 2001. Her work has appeared on ABC’s “Nightline,” NBC and PBS. She also has written editorials for the Los Angeles Times and CNN.com.
Ling was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2009 and is a service ambassador for Points of Light, the nonpartisan organization dedicated to solving social problems through voluntary service. She resides in Mill Valley, California, with her husband and two children.
The two Ling sisters talked about Laura’s capture in this interview that was broadcast on National Public Radio’s “Fresh Air” program.