Lisa Ling: journalist & adventurer
Updated: Apr 26
American journalist, television presenter, and author Lisa Ling has long circle the globe for news and docuseries, most recently hosting "This Is Life".
Speaking to USC students in 2016, Ling explained, "I think traveling is the best education. If there's one takeaway here tonight, it's to travel … I'm convinced that you are better, smarter, more marketable as a job candidate if you travel."
Ling grew up in Sacramento and at16 became one of the hosts of Scratch, an adolescent news program that was syndicated nationwide. Two years later, she joined Channel One News, a youth-oriented news network shown in many American middle schools and high schools. One of the channel’s youngest reporters, she corresponded from some two dozen countries, becoming the network’s senior war correspondent at age 25. While working for Channel One, Ling attended the University of Southern California. In 1999 Ling joined The View; she left the show in 2002 to pursue a reporting career. She produced several documentaries, which aired on the Los Angeles public television station KCET. In 2005 she became a cohost of the National Geographic cable television series National Geographic Explorer. In that same year she began working as a special correspondent and investigative reporter for the Oprah Winfrey Show; she continued with the program until it ended in 2011. Ling also hosted Who Cares About Little Girls, a series on the Oxygen Network that examined issues faced by girls throughout the world. In addition, she served as a contributing reporter for CNN, and the documentary series This Is Life with Lisa Ling premiered on that channel in 2014. Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood, which she coauthored with Joanne Bubolz Eicher, was published in 2005.
Lisa's younger sister, journalist Laura Ling, was famously detained in North Korea in 2009, as she & a colleague were accused of illegal entry into the country. They had been attempting to film refugees along the border with China and sentenced to 12 years in a labor prison for illegal entry into North Korea, and unspecified hostile acts. NK released Laura and Euna on August 4, 2009 after a visit from former U.S. President Bill Clinton.