April 15, 2011 / 2011 Spring JEA/NSPA / News

Lisa, Laura Ling speak to overflow crowd at JEA/NSPA

Written by Evan Blackwell, CJE

A packed crowd took in the keynote address on Friday afternoon at the JEA/NSPA Spring National High School Journalism Convention in Anaheim to hear sisters Laura and Lisa Ling discuss their careers in journalism, and Laura’s 2009 ordeal of being detained in North Korea while working on a documentary.

Lisa Ling began the address with a salute to Jim Jordan, the English teacher and yearbook adviser for both girls when they were high schools students at Del Campo High School in Fair Oaks, Calif.

“When you go out to start your careers and you are covering stories around the world and winning Pulitzer Prizes, don’t forget those teachers who made an impact on your life,” Lisa told the crowd of student journalists.

Laura Ling told the crowd about her capture and imprisonment while working on the China-North Korea border in 2009.

“I never understood what a luxury our freedom is until I went out into the world and met people who don’t enjoy that freedom. And until I lost my own,” Laura said.

Evan Blackwell, CJE

Evan Blackwell, CJE, is a Web Content Specialist for walsworthyearbooks.com and yearbookhelp.com, as well as a regular contributor to Idea File magazine. He's been a writer and editor for Walsworth Yearbooks for the past 13 years, and is the author of the Yearbook Suite's "The Art of the Interview" unit. Prior to joining Walsworth, Blackwell spent five years as an award-winning newspaper and magazine journalist. He holds a bachelor’s degree in journalism from the University of Kansas.