Travel, explore as much as you can, journalist Lisa Ling tells students at BUC

Posted September 20, 2013


Travel and explore as much as you can, executive producer and journalist Lisa Ling told University of Miami students when gave an inspirational speech about her career at the Bank United Center on Monday.

Journalist Lisa Ling talks to students at the BUC (Photo by Melissa Mallin).

Journalist Lisa Ling talks to students at the BUC (Photo by Melissa Mallin).

Ling is a former correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC news’ Nightline. As a journalist Ling is most known for covering the civil war in Afghanistan and co-hosting ABC’s show The View.

One of Ling’s main topics was travel. She strongly suggested for students to travel the world as much as they can. She believes travel not only makes you smarter but a better person all around.

“The best advice I could give any aspiring journalist would be to go out and explore the world. I guarantee you will enjoy the richest experiences life has to offer. You will learn so much about the world and you will learn even more about yourself. It’s something you will never regret,” said Ling.

University of Miami President Donna E. Shalala introduced Ling and told the audience about Ling’s “unusual insight in the world.”

Ling started her career by reporting for Channel 1 News in New York City. She went on to co-host The View and later became host of National Geographic’s Explorer. Ling has reported from dozens of countries covering topics such as civil war in Afghanistan, cataract surgeries in North Korea and the male-to-female ratio in China.

“What I love about what I do is that I go into a place with ‘American style glasses,’ which, are my own preconceived ideas about what I think the country and the culture is going to be like. As soon as I land, I realize that things aren’t black and white and there is so much more to a place than what meets the eye,” said Ling.

Ling also touched on the subjects of incarcerated women with children and human sex trafficking in America.

Ling’s experiences led her to produce and host her own show on the Oprah Winfrey Network (OWN) called “Our America.” The show takes viewers on a journey through the subcultures of American lifestyles. Each episode immerses viewers in the lives of misunderstood Americans.

Episodes include topics such as parents of transgender children, childhood obesity,  mail order brides,  prostitution, incarceration, and other controversial social issues Americans tend to ignore.

Ling speaks to student about travel, slavery, and incarceration (Photo by Melissa Mallin).

Ling speaks to student about travel, slavery, and incarceration (Photo by Melissa Mallin).

“ It’s easy to turn a blind eye and pretend  nothing bad is happening in the world. But now that you know, you can’t pretend that you don’t,” she said.

After the speech, students were allowed to partake in a Q&A session with Ling.

About 300 people attended the event.

“I really enjoyed the event,” stated sophomore Rachel Kliger.

“Ling takes such a  different approach on journalism and covers a lot of really dark topics, I think more people should be like her,” Kliger added.

Every year, the University of Miami invites a speaker to share their personal stories and achievements. According to the director of Multicultural Student Affairs, Renee Callan, a collective group of students and trustees agreed to host Ling as this year’s speaker for the Fall Convocation.

“Through her show “Our America,” Ling showcases different communities within American culture and has achieved great success. Ling has an interesting story and the committee thought she would be a great speaker,” said Callan.

Students on the University Roundtable Committee and other departments including the Vice President’s Office of Student Affairs agreed upon Ling’s arrival.

The event was sponsored by the Office of the President.

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