|Born||Laura G. Ling|
December 1, 1976
Carmichael, California, US
|Alma mater||University of California, Los Angeles|
|Notable credit(s)||Channel One News, MTV, Current TV, E! Network|
|Relatives||Lisa Ling (sister)|
Laura G. Ling (Chinese: 凌志美, born December 1, 1976) 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. In November 2014, it was announced that Ling joined Discovery Digital Networks as its Director of Development.
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.
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. They divorced when Laura was four years old and her sister Lisa was seven. Following the divorce, the two sisters were raised in Sacramento, California, by their father. Ling describes herself as Chinese American.
Ling's career as a journalist began when she became a correspondent for KCET's SoCal Connected and producer at Channel One News. She co-created Breaking it Down, a documentary series on MTV that aired between 1999 and 2001. 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.
Ling hosted a one-hour news show on E!. The show premiered on December 8, 2010.
Ling has received a national Edward R. Murrow Award, and was named one of Glamour magazine's Women of the Year in 2009. In 2011, Ling received the McGill Medal for Journalistic Courage from the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication, and in 2014, she won an Emmy Award.
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. In June 2009, they were sentenced to 12 years in a labor prison for illegal entry into North Korea, and unspecified hostile acts. Many in the media called it a show trial. The US government made diplomatic efforts to oppose this sentence before their release in August 2009.
Lisa Ling stated that when her sister and Lee left the United States, they never intended to cross into North Korea. She also revealed that her sister required medical treatment for an ulcer. Ling was pardoned along with Lee, and they have returned to the United States following an unannounced visit to North Korea by former US President Bill Clinton on August 4, 2009. 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.
In 2010, Ling co-wrote with her sister Lisa a memoir, Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home.
Laura Ling is married to Iain Clayton, a financial analyst. 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 since it was President Clinton's middle name.
- 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. ISBN 0062000675.
- McKinley, Jesse (June 9, 2009). "Two Paths, Same Fate for Reporters Facing Prison". The New York Times. Archived from the original on December 5, 2016. Retrieved 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.
- Date of birth found on the California Birth Index 1905-1995, under LING, LAURA G.
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- Biography Archived 2014-12-18 at the Wayback Machine.; Discovery News; November 12, 2014
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