Reach Out to Connect
Lisa Ling has spent much of her life putting a human face on difficult social issues unfolding in dozens of countries around the world. The television journalist and correspondent for National Geographic, ABC, CNN, and others, discovered that she wanted “to tell stories—tragic things, but also beautiful and inspiring things. I decided to dive into journalism to build bridges.”
In her keynote address during the closing session, Ling shared video clips and other examples from a few of those stories: maximum security in a California state prison, adoption of baby girls in China, a dangerous gang in El Salvador, sexual trafficking of young American girls. Ling said that she tends to “go into every story with American-style glasses,” but she has learned that no story is black and white.
She and her crews maintain relative safety reporting in these environments because of their relationships with their subjects. “If you offer people respect, respect will be reciprocated to you,” she said. At the same time, Ling hopes her reporting is enlightening for viewers. “Now that you know, you can't pretend that you don't,” she said. (For a preconference interview with Ling, see “Lisa Ling Expands the Conversation” in the June 2010 issue of Business Officer.)
“I hope as you leave today,” she told the business officers, “that you continue to build bridges in your communities among people you do not know.”
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