Laura Ling Makes Her Debut on E! Tonight

Former Current TV reporter and world famous North Korean hostage Laura Ling is the new host of E! Investigates on the E! Entertainment network, where she makes her debut tonight. Ling’s first show looks into the rash of teen suicides across the country.

Writes Ling of her premiere story, on E!’s website:

Suicide is the third leading cause of death among 10- to 24-year-olds. And the ripple effect of losing a child, sibling or friend to suicide is far-reaching. As April Kubachka explained metaphorically about her son Kyle’s death by suicide, “Kyle held a grenade in his hands, and surrounding him were all his loved ones. When he pulled the pin, we were all hit with the shrapnel.”

Teen suicide and bullying has been in the news as of late following the death of Rutgers University freshman, Tyler Clementi, who was taunted because of his sexual orientation. But suicidal thoughts impact young people from all walks of life. Our investigation took us from wealthy suburbs of Los Angeles to ethnic communities in Miami to tranquil towns in the Midwest.

She also sat down for a small profile in today’s LA Times, where she acknowledges the obvious odd factor that she went from hardcore international reporting to E!.

“It may seem strange, but this really does connect with my background in documentary storytelling,” said Ling, who covered numerous in-depth and topical stories such as slave labor in the Brazilian Amazon, the drug war in Mexico and Internet censorship in China for Current while serving as its vice president. “It gives me an opportunity to reach out to a younger audience that has been underserved, and being here presents a great new challenge for me.”

Ling will tackle military wives (not literally) on her show next week.

Photo: Gary Friedman, LA Times