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Laura Ling

Award-Winning American Journalist, Co-Author of Somewhere Inside: One Sister's Captivity in North Korea and the Other's Fight to Bring Her Home

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Fee Range:
$10,000 - $15,000

Over almost two decades, award-winning journalist and web and TV host Laura Ling has been dedicated to exposing the world to critical global issues, including slave labor in the Amazon, the drug war in Mexico, Internet censorship in China, and women’s rights in Turkey.

In March 2009, Ling captured the world’s attention from a different standpoint, when she was arrested and held captive in North Korea for 140 days after attempting to report on the trafficking of North Korean women. Granted a special pardon, she returned to the U.S. and documented her experience in her 2010 memoir, Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, penned with her sister, Lisa.


Laura is an award-winning journalist and author. She most recently hosted the Discovery mini-documentary series, The Power of Kindness which looks at the scientific roots and benefits of being kind. She also hosts Everyday Bravery, a podcast about overcoming life’s biggest challenges. As an international correspondent, she has reported on issues ranging from the global health threat of avian flu, to women’s rights in the Middle East, to how 3D printing is being used to combat poaching in Africa.

Laura has more than two decades of experience programming across multiple platforms. She is a featured speaker at universities and conferences, addressing topics including journalism, human rights, women’s issues, discerning truth in the media, digital media, and leadership. She is the co-author of the New York Times Bestselling memoir: Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home. Ling was named one of Glamour Magazine’s Women of the Year in 2009. She is a Service Ambassador for Points of Light, the nonpartisan organization dedicated to solving social problems through voluntary service.

Speech Topics

Ling recounts her time in captivity, from moments when she feared she might never see her family again, to glimmers of humanity and compassion directed towards her by her captors, to the ways in which she fought to win back her freedom. She talks about what sustained her throughout that terrifying period of isolation and how she was able to maintain hope. Her story provides a rare and unique window into the so-called “Hermit Nation,” and what happens when people from “enemy” nations get a chance to interact and communicate face-to-face.

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