In Lisa Ling's new show for Oprah Winfrey's OWN network, "Our America with Lisa Ling," the journalist travels the U.S. attempting to immerse herself in the lives of Americans on the edge, from within religious movements to convicted sex offenders and drug addicts.
In 2009, the former "View" host and National Geographic Channel reporter had the tables flipped on her when her sister, Current TV reporter Laura Ling, was held captive in North Korea and the news cameras were pointed on Lisa for a change.
"It wasn't a place I liked to be, on that side of the camera," she tells Zap2it. "It was an urgent situation and honestly I wasn't myself."
In many ways, her sister was lucky to have a famous sibling who could help attract attention to her imprisonment. The North Korean government had arrested Laura and a fellow reporter after they crossed the border from South Korea (by accident, according to the reporters' accounts).
"You have to put on a different hat," she says. "Because you're fighting for your family member. Ultimately it was the most challenging experience of my life."
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