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Laura Ling

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Title: Laura Ling  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
Language: English
Subject: 2009 imprisonment of American journalists by North Korea, Lisa Ling, Vanguard (TV series), August 2009, Euna Lee
Collection: 1976 Births, 21St-Century American Writers, 21St-Century Women Writers, American Journalists of Chinese Descent, American Media Executives, American Memoirists, American People Imprisoned Abroad, American People of Taiwanese Descent, American Television Journalists, American Television Reporters and Correspondents, American Women Journalists, American Women Writers, American Writers of Chinese Descent, Current Tv People, Journalists from California, Living People, News & Documentary Emmy Award Winners, North Korea–united States Relations, People from Sacramento County, California, Prisoners and Detainees of North Korea, Recipients of North Korean Pardons, University of California, Los Angeles Alumni, Women Memoirists, Women Television Journalists, Writers from California
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Laura Ling

Laura Ling
Born Laura G. Ling
(1976-12-01) December 1, 1976
Carmichael, California, U.S.
Nationality American
Alma mater University of California, Los Angeles
Occupation Journalist
Notable credit(s) Channel One News, MTV, Current TV, E! Network
Spouse(s) Iain Clayton[1]
Children 2
Relatives Lisa Ling (sister)

Laura G. Ling (born December 1, 1976[2][3]) is an American journalist and writer. She worked for Current TV as a correspondent and vice president of its Vanguard Journalism Unit, which produced the Vanguard TV series. She was the host and reporter on E! Investigates, a documentary series on the E! Network.[4][5] In November 2014, it was announced that Ling joined Discovery Digital Networks as its Director of Development.[6][7]

Ling is the sister of Lisa Ling, who is a special correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show, National Geographic Explorer, and CNN. Laura Ling and fellow journalist Euna Lee were detained in North Korea after they illegally crossed into North Korea from the People's Republic of China without a visa. They were tried and convicted, then subsequently pardoned after former U.S. President Bill Clinton flew to North Korea to meet with Kim Jong-il.[8][9]


  • Early life and education 1
  • Career 2
    • 2009 detention in North Korea 2.1
  • Personal life 3
  • See also 4
  • Published works 5
  • References 6
  • External links 7

Early life and education

Ling's father Doug is a Chinese immigrant, born in China during the 1920s; her mother Mary Mei-yan (née Wang) is a Taiwanese immigrant from Tainan, Taiwan, and was the head of the Los Angeles office of the Formosan Association for Public Affairs.[10] They divorced when Laura was four years old and her sister Lisa was 7.[11][12] Following the divorce, the two sisters were raised in the city of Sacramento, California by their father. Ling describes herself as Chinese American, but a friend described her as "a true Valley girl ... about as Chinese as the cuisine at Chin Chin".[10]

Ling studied at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, California. An English teacher at Del Campo who taught both Ling and her sister claimed that when he first knew Ling, she was already interested in following her sister's footsteps into the journalism field. He described her as "different from her sister ... and more determined, in a sense".[10]

Ling graduated with a communications degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1998.[13]


Ling's career as a journalist began when she became a correspondent for KCET's SoCal Connected. She was a producer at Channel One News,[14] She co-created Breaking it Down, a documentary series on MTV that aired between 1999 and 2001.[15] Afterward, Ling joined Current TV, where she reported on issues about Cuba, Indonesia, the Philippines, Turkey, the West Bank, and the Amazon River, as well as about shantytowns in Sao Paulo, Brazil, gangs and homeless teens in Los Angeles, and underground churches in China. Prior to her detention, she had been reporting about the Mexican Drug War.[14][16]

Ling hosted a one-hour news show on E!. The show premiered on Dec. 8, 2010.[17]

In 2014, Ling won an Emmy Award.[18]

2009 detention in North Korea

In the last week of March 2009, North Korea announced that two American journalists were detained and would be indicted and tried for illegally entering the country. On May 3, 2009, it was officially announced that Ling and fellow journalist Euna Lee were the journalists that had been detained, after they attempted to film refugees along the border with China.[19] In June 2009, they were sentenced to 12 years in a labor prison for illegal entry into North Korea, and unspecified hostile acts.[20][21] Many in the media called it a show trial.[22] The United States government made diplomatic efforts to oppose this sentence before their release in August 2009.[23]

Lisa Ling stated that when they left the United States, her sister and Lee never intended to cross into North Korea. She has also revealed that her sister requires medical treatment for an ulcer from which she is currently suffering.[24]

Ling was pardoned along with Euna Lee, and they have both returned to the United States following an unannounced visit to North Korea by former US President Bill Clinton on August 4, 2009.[9][25] Some human rights activists in South Korea have accused Lee and Ling of needlessly placing North Korean refugees in danger by not being more careful with their tapes and notebooks in the event they were apprehended.[26]

In 2010, Ling co-wrote a memoir, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, with her sister Lisa, based on her experiences in North Korea.

Personal life

On June 3, 2010, Ling gave birth to a girl, naming her Li Jefferson Clayton, in Burbank, California. Laura and her husband decided to name the baby Li, after Laura's sister Lisa, and chose Jefferson as a middle name as a tribute to former President William Jefferson "Bill" Clinton.[27]

See also

Published works

  • Ling, Laura; Ling, Lisa (2010). Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home. William Morrow.  


  1. ^ McKinley, Jesse. "Two Paths, Same Fate for Reporters Facing Prison", The New York Times, June 9, 2009. Accessed June 11, 2009. ‘In a June 1 interview on CNN’s “Larry King Live,” Ms. Ling’s husband, Iain Clayton, read a letter from his wife.’
  2. ^ Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995, under LING, LAURA G.
  3. ^ "'"Laura Ling's Father: 'I Worry Quite A Bit. KCRA-TV. 2009-03-19. Retrieved 2009-06-11. 
  4. ^ Fillo, MaryEllen (2013-03-22). "Laura Ling - Journalist, Author and Documentary TV Host | Hartford Magazine". Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  5. ^ Stelter, Brian (2010-10-11). "MEDIA DECODER - New Host for 'E! Investigates' - Web Log -". New York Times. Retrieved 2013-10-04. 
  6. ^ Bloom, David (November 12, 2014). "Laura Ling Joins Discovery Digital Networks As Director of Development". Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  7. ^ "Award-Winning Journalist Laura Ling Joins Discovery Digital Networks". November 12, 2014. Retrieved November 20, 2014. 
  8. ^ "North Korea pardons US reporters". BBC News. 2009-08-04. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  9. ^ a b "N. Korean leader reportedly pardons U.S. journalists". CNN. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  10. ^ a b c Churcher, Sharon; Graham, Caroline (2009-08-10), "In peril in Pyongyang? How jailed female journalists were in greater danger sharing a plane with Bill Clinton", The Mail on Sunday, retrieved 2009-08-20 
  11. ^ Castaneda, Erin (2008-04-04), "Journalist (Lisa) Ling shares her own story", Lawrence Journal-World, retrieved 2009-08-20 
  12. ^ Taub, Daniel (2009-08-06), "Journalists arrive in U.S. following imprisonment", Bloomberg News, retrieved 2009-08-07 
  13. ^ McKinley, Jesse (2009-06-10), "Two Paths, Same Fate for Reporters Facing Prison", The New York Times, retrieved 2009-08-20 
  14. ^ a b Abdulrahim, Raja; Garrison, Jessica (2009-06-11), "Friends speak up for L.A. journalists held by N. Korea", Los Angeles Times, retrieved 2009-08-20 
  15. ^ [1]
  16. ^ Catlin, Roger (2009-06-09), "The Dangerous Places of Laura Ling", The Hartford Courant, retrieved 2009-08-20 
  17. ^ "Laura Ling to Host New E! Show". Retrieved October 11, 2010. 
  18. ^ "WINNERS OF THE 66th LOS ANGELES AREA EMMY® AWARDS ANNOUNCED". Television Academy. July 26, 2014. Retrieved September 27, 2014. 
  19. ^ Michael Y. Park (2009-03-23). "Lisa Ling's Sister Arrested in North Korea".  
  20. ^ "Reporters get 12-year terms in N. Korea", CNN, June 8, 2009
  21. ^ "North Korea jails US journalists".  
  22. ^ [2]
  23. ^ "U.S. Fighting North Korea Labor Camp Sentence for Laura Ling, Euna Lee", by KATIE BOSLAND, SARAH NETTER and KATIE HINMAN, ABC News, June 8, 2009
  24. ^ Huffington Post, 2009-06-08 
  25. ^ "North Korea: 2 US journalists pardoned". Associated Press. 4 August 2009. Retrieved 5 August 2009. 
  26. ^ Choe, Sang-hun (2009-08-22), "In South Korea, Freed U.S. Journalists Come Under Harsh Criticism", The New York Times, retrieved 2009-08-24 
  27. ^ Wang, Cynthia (2010-06-03), "Laura Ling names new baby for her sister, Bill Clinton", CNN, retrieved 2010-06-04 

External links

  • Laura Ling reunite with family
  • Laura Ling's reports on Current network
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