Ling's career spans the globe as she searches for perspective in human drama
Thursday, November 29, 2012
"Travel if you can. See the world while you’re young. It’s a game changer.”
The third speaker in Lesley University’s Boston Speakers Series, Lisa Ling has spent a career traveling the world, and challenging her perspective - and her viewers - through the human stories in and around world events.
Ling is currently executive producer and host of Our America with Lisa Ling on OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network, and began as a correspondent for Channel One News where she covered the civil war in Afghanistan at the age of 21.
She recalled images landing at the airport, seeing young boys wielding weapons “bigger than they were.” She told of traveling to North Korea with a doctor performing cataract surgeries, and watching patients who’d lived with impaired vision for decades remove their bandages to thank a picture of “Dear Leader” Kim Jong Il rather than the doctor who’d restored their vision. She traveled to China to explore the impacts of the “one child one family” edict that led to thousands of baby girls being abandoned or given up for adoption.
In recalling stories she’s covered in America and across the globe, Ling addressed facing each issue knowing she was wearing “American style glasses,” and finding the issues were never black and white. And sometimes the answers to hard questions were astonishingly simple.
In exploring China’s “one child” policy, for example, giving up daughters in order to have a son was both painful and practical. “’If we have a daughter,’ they said, she will marry and leave us,’” Ling said. “But if they had a son, he would marry and have children and stay with the family. The answer was so simple, and it was an example of needing to remove my ‘American style glasses’ to really see the story.”
Ling’s career has spanned the inaugural season of ABC’s The View, which she left in order to return to international reporting, and roles as a correspondent for The Oprah Winfry Show, CNN’s Planet in Peril series, and contributing editor for USA Today’s USA Weekend magazine. Her current show, Our America with Lisa Ling, airs on the Oprah Winfrey Network.
She is the co-author of Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood and Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, which she penned with her sister, Laura.
Lesley University’s Boston Speakers Series continues on January 16 with modern warfare expert P.W. Singer.
To learn more about Lesley's Boston Speakers Series and see a full schedule of events, click here.
See the full speakers schedule and read coverage of the events.
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