Clarissa Ward

in conversation with Lisa Ling

Recorded Sunday, September 13, 2020

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Clarissa Ward in conversation with Lisa Ling

Sunday, September 13, 2020

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Clarissa Ward’s remarkable new memoir On All Fronts is the unforgettable story of an extraordinary journalist and a changing world.

Clarissa is CNN’s chief international correspondent. In her fifteen-year career spanning Fox, CBS, and ABC, she has reported from front lines across the world. Clarissa has won five Emmy Awards, two George Foster Peabody Awards, an Alfred I. duPont-Columbia University Award, two Edward R. Murrow Awards for distinguished journalism, honors from the Radio and Television Correspondents’ Association, the 2016 David Kaplan Award from the Overseas Press Club, and the Excellence in International Reporting Award from the International Center for Journalists. She graduated with distinction from Yale University, and in 2013 received an honorary doctor of letters degree from Middlebury College in Vermont. She lives in London.

Lisa Ling is the executive producer and host of This is Life with Lisa Ling, on CNN. For five seasons prior, Lisa executive produced and hosted Our America on OWN: the Oprah Winfrey Network. As the former field correspondent for The Oprah Winfrey Show and contributor to ABC News’ Nightline  and National Geographic’s Explorer, Lisa has reported from dozens of countries, covering stories about gang rape in the Congo, bride burning in India, the Lord’s Resistance Army in Uganda and the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang in Central America, Lisa is the co-author of Mother, Daughter, Sister, Bride: Rituals of Womanhood  and Somewhere Inside: One Sister’s Captivity in North Korea and the Other’s Fight to Bring Her Home, which she penned with her sister, Laura. She is also a co-founder of SecretSocietyofWomen.com, and a contributor to ivolunteer.org.

““Clarissa Ward is a reporter I have always admired – for her courage but also her clarity and her willingness to take risks to bring sometimes uncomfortable truths to light. 

Her memoir is a reporter’s story – with all the grit and frustration and triumphs –  but also a universal story of a tenacious young woman working in a hardscrabble profession who paved her own way with sheer hard work and a vision.   Ward has reported diligently from many war zones, but her work in Syria will go down as a historical record of a country that the international community allowed to bleed.

Everyone with a conscience should read this book.”‘

—Janine di Giovanni, author of The Morning They Came for Us.

Get ready to join Clarissa in conversation, Sunday, September 13th.

In the meantime, we invite you to take a moment now to help shape this upcoming conversation.

Check out the list of questions submitted by other registered attendees, and then vote to support any that match your interests.

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  • 4

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    Who are some of your favorite authors, whether fiction or non-fiction, and have they influenced your writing?

  • 3

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    How has the role of embedded journalists in 21st century warfare (guerrilla and counterinsurgency) changed when compared to more conventional conflicts of the past?

  • 3

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    How do you discern the difference between journalism and activism when filing, ensuring that you do not become part of the story?

  • 2

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    What is it like for you (someone who travels often to report on all kinds of conflict and stories) to be admist this pandemic? What impact has it had on your work?

  • 2

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    What is your role as a chief international correspondent on CNN? What differentiates you from Christiane Amanpour, who was also a war correspondent and previously served for your current job?

  • 2

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    Hi. I’m June Lee from Seoul, and I’m joining again after the Strand Book Event! 1. What do you think is the first priority of being a truthful journalist? 2. What do you think are the biggest problem(or dilemma)& improvements in today’s journalism?

  • 2

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    What do both journalists think of the Susan Page controversy and revelations of high profile female journalists hosting parties for the people they cover. Is this normal? Do you agree with this?

  • 2

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    3. How do you usually fact-check and verify misinformation while reporting? What specific tools do you use? Do you have your own method?

  • 2

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    In having reported from Baalbeck, Tehran and Herat myself, what does the future hold for journalists in the Middle East, with respect to health and safety, and cross-border logistics?

  • 2

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    could you talk about the need for balanced reporting — i.e., years ago when news outlets (pre 1987) were required to report various points of view and perspectives which led to better understanding of the full scope of national and global issues. could you also talk about the phenomenon of news becoming entertainment and being packaged as such rather than plain and simple reporting of facts.

  • 1

    votes

    Can you touch on the difficulty many writers are having finding a literary agent to review their works? It seems as if many established agents now are not accepting unsolicited works.

  • 1

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    Who are your mentors/ favorite journalists? Do you have a theoretical worldview that you follow when you are traveling and reporting on serious topics?

  • 1

    votes

    Whats the last thing that you have seen that has moved you?

  • 1

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    What inspired you to start writing “on all fronts”? How was the process writing this book different than your journalism?

  • 1

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    Where is the favorite place you have traveled? Where did you learn the most?

  • 1

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    Did you always dream of being on tv as a correspondent? When did you fall in love with journalism?

  • 0

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    Do you think your journalism and storytelling has impacted U.S. foreign policy at all? Do you hope that it does?

  • 0

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    Can you turn up your volume? Mine is maximum.

  • 0

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    Yes, the buck stops with the president. But the advising generals have had amazing tax-payer supported educational opportunities. As the public get more informed from brave journalists like you, should we hold the military more accountable when journalists reveal what’s really happening on the ground during planning, combat and any reconstruction in war zones? How can we demand accountability and change future unfettered military action? Thank you so much!

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