Muriel invites Jack Ling – The Young Reporter, turned trailblazer and pioneer in communicating with, for and about the poor, throughout his 35 years in UNICEF and the UN System – Part 1
Mr Jack Ling was a reporter for a few years including a short stint as a United Nations-accredited war correspondent in Korea. From 1951-1962 (with a study leave interruption), he served as Public Information Officer in Bangkok for UNICEF’s Asia Regional Office, after which he was transferred to UNICEF, HQ first as Chief, Radio/TV and Film Service, then as Deputy Director before becoming Director, Information Division, 1972-82. He was seconded to the World Health Organization (WHO) as Director, Public Information and Health Education, in Geneva, 1982-1986.
He introduced the concept of creative fundraising with communication products, promoted and executed the joint/collaborative venture and co-production with television networks, as well as influenced policy as regards communication for development with, for and about the bottom billions whom the UN system serves.
After early retirement from the United Nations, he began an 18-year academic career with short stints at University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Columbia University Teachers College, CUNY Lehman College, and a 15-year tenure at Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. He was Director of Tulane SPHTM’s International Communication Center and Clinical Professor of International Health and Development. In 2004, he was appointed Professor Emeritus by Tulane.
He also served as Chair, International Council for the Control of Iodine Disease Deficiency (ICCIDD), for two terms 2001-2006.
Jack Ling wrote articles for WHO and UNICEF about communication, but they were not ‘books.’ Some of them are available on the web. He was chief editor for a series of school health education books for WHO’s Middle East region; published a book about social mobilization in Chinese, Peking University Medical Press, which was a collaboration with a team of Chinese scholars; co-authored with Cynthia Reader a communication manual for iodine deficiency elimination which was translated into French, Spanish, Russian, Chinese and Portuguese. His book, The Memorial Dozen, in English and Chinese, which described some UNICEF colleagues (Keeny, Grant, Eve Labouissee, Brando, Lord Ritchie Calder) was published by Peking University two years ago. He is now working on his memoir for the Commercial Press of China, “which I hope to finish before I start losing gradually my marbles, a common occurrence for people in their 80s!” he says.
Mr Ling is one of two stalwarts of UNICEF for whom the University of Tulane has established awards, the other being the late Mr James Grant, former UNICEF Executive Director.
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