Journalist Laura Ling Is A Jewel & These Are All The Reasons You Should Love Her

The E! Network isn't the first thing that comes to mind when you think hard-hitting journalism or documentary series, but Society X with Laura Ling is just that. Usually home to shows like Bridalplasty and Keeping Up With the Kardashians, the entertainment channel's programming blocks haven't been known for non-celebrity news. Despite that, Society X is committed to edgy stories and has the titular Ling investigating subcultures around the country, featuring a concept and some subject matter similar to VICE TV. This week's episode covers the world of "living dolls," or people who get multiple invasive surgeries and subject themselves to cosmetic rituals to achieve a particularly doll-like appearance.

While the subjects might be a little odd, and dare I say occasionally creepy, the woman in front of the camera with them is not. Ling will be hitting television screens nationwide, and if she seems a little bit familiar, you're not wrong. The storied journalist has quite a career behind her already, from overseas adventures to authoring a memoir with her sister.

Here are just a few reasons why Ling is the brainy BFF of your dreams and why you should tune in to see her reporting in action on her new show.

Her Journalism Career Has Landed Her In Hot Water

If Ling’s name rings a bell, it’s probably for her participation in 2009’s accidental North Korean border crossing and subsequent imprisonment. While reporting for Al Gore’s now defunct Current TV along the Chinese border, Ling and fellow journalist Euna Lee illegally crossed into the hostile nation and only released after intervention from former president Bill Clinton. Their teary return with Ling disembarking their plane home behind an equally distraught Lee was covered by several media outlets live, and followed by a press conference where Ling recounted their time as prisoners and eventual rescue.

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She's An Ace At Social Media

Well, it depends on the outlet. Her robust Instagram reveals she’s game for anything, just as you’d expect of a good reporter. Here Ling is “dolled up” with some of the doll fetishists she reports on Society X. The feed also features some beyond adorable family photos. Her Twitter however is another story. Ling started the account upon returning from North Korea in 2009, tweeting about being free again, then didn’t return until five years later (she tweets that some Penn State students convinced her to return from her Twitter hiatus).

Image: iamlauraling/Instagram

She's Got A Famous Sister

Yes, she is related to that other Ling, Lisa, special correspondent of The Oprah Winfrey Show and CNN. Sharing media careers, the two are exceptionally close. Laura even named her daughter with husband Iain Clayton, who she gave birth to in 2010, after her sister Lisa, settling on the name “Li Jefferson” with the girl’s middle name an homage to President Clinton.

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She's Besties with Al Gore

Current TV, the channel whose reporting got her in some very hot international waters, is owned by none other than the former Vice President and presidential candidate. Ling was Vice President and correspondent for the channel’s Vanguard Unit, which later became absorbed into Al Jazeera America, with several of its reporters redistributed and reassigned through the new channel, though Ling did not follow the show there. While under the channel’s tenure, Ling did several hard hitting reports like this one about fringe communities in China.

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She's An Emmy Winner

Ling won an Emmy at the Television Academy Honors for her work on SoCal Connected, a Southland focused newsmagazine show airing on the Los Angeles public broadcasting station KCET. Ling has previously been a presenter, doing her part to honor other local storytellers making an impact

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