Lisa Ling Lecture

This evening attended the Lisa Ling lecture at Jesse Hall, which is the first event I have attended in a while that I was not writing an article on. It was nice to be able to listen to a speech and take in the atmosphere of event without having to take notes on that. With that said, I will say the atmosphere at the event was that of admiration. Lisa Ling’s lecture held the interest of the audience throughout its entirety, though it went longer than the scheduled time, the audience was captivated throughout.

Ms. Ling discussed some of her great achievements in the journalism world, such as working with Oprah and National Geographic to make some phenominal documentaries about untouched, or seldom approached, topics. She also gave the audience insight into how she got to where she is, which was especially relevant to me as a journalism student. Being a senior in the “J-School” here, I hadn’t really thought about any other ways to enter the field of journalism aside from attending a university and obtaining a degree in journalism, so I found it very interesting that Lisa did not speak at all of attending a journalism school but started out working for a teen-magazine show in her hometown called Scratch. From there she made connections that eventually led to bigger and bigger roles in the journalism world and more in-depth stories to work on.

Ling then went on to describe to the audience some of her most exceptional stories, such as ones on the drug wars in Columbia, maximum security prisons, “lost girls” in China who are adopted by American families and young girls in other countries that are forced to marry much older men (she told as that some of these girls are as young as seven).

After discussing her work, Ling left the audience with an inspiring message that each and every person in the audience can no longer turn a blind eye to the issues at hand. I was personally affected by this message, and do feel moved to do something about it. Before tonight, I had my plans for after graduation pretty set. I planned to find a job at a publication in St. Louis so I could stay close to my family. I would still like to stay close to my family, but Ling’s lecture also inspired me to look for something more and to perhaps try for a more meaningful career while I’m still young, though that probably means looking outside of St. Louis. I still plan on applying to several newspapers in the St. Louis area, but I am also broadening my horizons, and plan to do some research on what other work is out there, and hopefully find a place where my role as a journalist will have an impact on the world.


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