As you might imagine, it's good to have Oprah Winfrey in your corner. With her show "Our America with Lisa Ling," former "The View" co-host Lisa Ling has been able to explore a wide variety of challenging topics in-depth without network pressure to condense material to snippets. Most importantly, Ling has scored a high profile timeslot for her show on OWN, following Oprah's own "Oprah's Lifeclass" ("Our America"'s second season debuts Sun. Oct. 16 at 10 p.m. on OWN). Still, the intrepid journalists acknowledges that the fledgling network hasn't exactly taken over basic cable, even with the Oprah stamp of approval. "OWN has gone through it's challenges," Ling admitted in a conference call with reporters. "it's a brand new network. It's looking to find its voice, but I actually feel more strongly about it now than ever."

Now that Winfrey's talk show is off the air, she's been able to give the network her full attention, according to Ling. "She's incredibly involved," she says, though Ling notes Oprah is "very active" in the postproduction process rather than in the greenlighting of ideas. "I don't think I'd be able to do this kind of show on any other network. This network is about integrity. I have never wanted to exploit or sensationalize stories. Our shows are subtle, they're beautiful, they're sensitive. There's so much noise out there on television. My show's not noisy. It's truly just an experience... They're really allowing me the creative freedom I've never had before."

Ling, who was a correspondent on Winfrey's show for years, can feel confident knowing she has a longtime fan in Winfrey. "Oprah has been such a champion and fan of 'Our America' and that hasn't changed," Ling says. "I just got the most incredible email from her, she had a glowing response to our show about PTSD and veterans."

Ling's season two episode about PTSD stands out as a favorite for the reporter (who also covers sex trafficking, amateur porn, extreme parenting and polygamy this season). "My eyes are hugely puffy for the entire episode," she says. "I'd never seen PTSD manifested in anyone until I had this experience. This may be one of the most important shows I'll ever do. So many members of my generation and younger have been deployed overseas to return home with PTSD, and frankly we don't know how to deal with them. This is, to me, a major major crisis and soldiers continue to come home from Afghanistan and Iraq with the demons of war. If we don't fgure out how to deal with this, it's going to plague us all." Not that the show will be an unrelenting downer, as Ling follows several veterans through a therapeutic process. "It was so awe inspiring and so moving it truly gives me hope. There have been so many times when I've seen and experienced the worst in humanity, but almost always I experience the best of humanity at the same time."

While Ling may or may not have seen the best of humanity in filming an episode about amateur porn, it definitely had an impact on her -- and will probably throw her family for a loop as well.  "I grew up in a pretty strict home," she says. "My grandmother was extremely religious and my traditional Chinese father didn't believe I even had sex until I was on 'The View' and I was talking about it, and I was in my mid-twenties." Still, she couldn't pass up a story about what is a growing trend in a major industry. "Porn is a multi-billion dollar industry.. the fact that people are engaging in porn from their  homes is undeniable. There were tremendous uncomfortable moments, but I was fascinated by this world at how amateur porn has become an industry. Every day people can engage from a hotel room, their office, their home, and there's a level of engagement that has never been available before. What I'm proud of is when you think about a show with porn in the title you think it's going to e a certain way, but this show is so much richer and deeper than you'd expect."

She also promises minds will be changed by her episode on polygamy. "In the case of the polygamists, so many of us go in with preconceived ideas. I certainly thought it was a culture in which men dictated everything, but the compound I visited was exactly the opposite. When you go into a story with the goal of keeping an open mind, it allows you to have that much more of an experience."

A story that had a more personal element for Ling was one about twins. "I've always been fascinated by twins, I think because my sister is my best friend on earth. When she was being held captive in North Korea, I truly felt that I could feel her thinking about me," Ling says of her younger sister Laura Ling, who was arrested and sentenced to twelve years hard labor in North Korea for illegal entry into the country in 2009, but was released later that year. "We have this kind of connection. During the few phone calls she was able to make we were able to get past being thousands of miles away because we have a language we grew up speaking together. I just wondered how would it be if you actually shared the same DNA. Our twin show is so beautiful and so moving, I just love it."

For Ling, the greatest gift of "Our America" is being able to do a show she's proud of. "A lot of news outlets have to dwindle stories down to 5 or 6 minute packages. We feel really grateful we have 42 minutes to tell a story," she said. "As you all know, TV is sometimes challenging and it's a struggle for journalists to do work that they're really proud of."