Home > Interviews > One-on-One with…Lisa Ling! OUR AMERICA launches tonight on OWN

One-on-One with…Lisa Ling! OUR AMERICA launches tonight on OWN

by Jim on February 15, 2011 · 0 comments

OUR AMERICA WITH LISA LING is both provocative and informative. (photo by Jaime Cary/OWN)

Now that Oprah Winfrey’s OWN network is off and running, a number of new series continue to be rolled out on the schedule and another is added tonight when Our America With Lisa Ling premieres. In this weekly documentary series, Lisa Ling examines controversial topics like Internet brides, sex offenders, drugs, transgenders and the conflict between religion and homosexuality. One of Ling’s goals, however, is to not just tell a story but also immerse herself – and the audience – in each world and show as many different sides as possible for the sake of broadening our own perceptions of the world in which we live. Ling recently talked with me on the genesis of the name of the show, how she tries to stay objective no matter what the subject matter and why she believes she couldn’t do Our America anywhere else but the OWN network.

Jim Halterman: I couldn’t help but think that the title of your show is so appropriate because the people you are talking with on each episode are people who could be living next door to any one of us.

Lisa Ling: It’s interesting because initially the show was called ‘Inside With Lisa Ling’ and it was after I shot the sex offender episode that I realized this show needs to be called ‘Our America.’ We need to take ownership of all that being an American entails; the good, the bad, the ugly. We like to paint this picture of patriotic America but the reality is that being an American is so much more complex than we often choose to admit. These over 700,000 registered sex offenders are just as American as you and I and if we continue to look at them and sort of put up a periphery we’ll never be able to understand why they do what they do or how to deal with these problems and issues.

JH: How much time do you spend with the people you’re interviewing before their walls start coming down?

LL: That’s the difference between what we’re doing with this series and typical news reporting. With news reporting you go in, you shoot your story and you’re done. So many of these people we profile I’m still in touch with because they risk so much to come out and share parts of….CLICK HERE TO CONTINUE

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