Acclaimed Journalist Known for Being Detained in North Korea; Host of "E! Investigates;" Co-Author of "Somewhere Inside"
Laura Ling is an award-winning journalist and author. She most recently hosted the Discovery mini-documentary series, The Power of Kindness that looks at the scientific roots and benefits of being kind. She hosts Everyday Bravery, a podcast about overcoming life’s biggest challenges.
Ling is the Head of Programming for Heart Television’s streaming service where she oversees the development and creation of original streaming content. She served as the Director of Development for Discovery Communications digital network, Seeker, which garnered hundreds of millions of views online.
As the host of Conquered on Z Living Network, Ling profiled awe-inspiring people who have broken boundaries to achieve their goals. She has also hosted two documentary series airing on the E! Network: E! Investigates and Society X with Laura Ling. The shows highlighted topics such as teen suicide, the challenges faced by military spouses, and underground youth subcultures in America.
Prior to joining E! Ling served as Vice President of Current TV’s journalism department and created Vanguard, the network’s weekly investigative documentary series. As a Vanguard correspondent, she traveled the world to report on subjects including 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 numerous prestigious awards including 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. The two journalists were arrested and held captive in North Korea for 140 days before being granted a special pardon and returning to the United States. She 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 penned with her sister, Lisa.
As a correspondent for SoCal Connected, the hard-hitting news magazine series airing on KCET, Ling’s work was recognized with both an Emmy and a national 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 has also written editorials for the Los Angeles Times and CNN.com.
Ling was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2009. She 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.
Journey of Hope
As a journalist, Laura Ling has spent a large part of her career focusing on human rights issues and struggles for freedom. Ling talks about these experiences in addition to her own personal loss of liberty being held prisoner in one of the world’s most secretive, repressive nations and sentenced to twelve years hard labor for doing her work as a journalist.
Ling recounts her time in captivity, from moments when she feared she might never see her family again, to glimmers of humanity and compassion directed towards her by her captors, to the ways in which she fought to win back her freedom. She talks about what sustained her throughout that terrifying period of isolation and how she was able to maintain hope.
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