KCET's Award-Winning 'SoCal Connected' Features Reports by Laura Ling on the Risky World of Cheerleading and 'Reverse Migration' out of the US; Guns, Drugs, and Awards Season Also Featured

Airing 5:30 p.m. and 10:00 p.m. Nightly
Los Angeles, CA - January 14, 2013 - Renowned journalist Laura Ling joins the SoCal Connected team as a correspondent this week, reporting on a risky shift in the cheerleading world and a new trend in immigration. Additional reports include a frank discussion on gun control, an examination into the dangers of prescription drugs, one man's fight to eliminate a ticket trap and a look at awards season trends.
The week's episodic highlights include:   
MONDAY, January 14
Despite the persistent debate over whether cheerleading should be classified as a sport, injuries in the activity are becoming so prevalent that they are now second only to football. As Laura Ling reports, there has been a shift in cheerleading ever since the competitive form started to be televised in the 1980's. No longer just pompoms and chants, cheerleading has grown akin to gymnastics. Since it's not a 'sport,' there are no trainers, mats, or regulations...and the results are downright dangerous.
Then, Madeleine Brand speaks with New York Magazine film critic Kyle Buchanan on Golden Globes wins, losses and snubs, as well as what lies in ahead at the Academy Awards next month. 
TUESDAY, January 15
One Los Angeles resident has, by his own estimate, cost the city over $1 million dollars, but he isn't making any apologies. In fact, many are calling him a hero.  SoCal Connected correspondent Laurel Erickson takes a look at one man who fought the law - and won.  His victory resulted in the end of a lucrative traffic trap and is now saving drivers thousands of dollars.  
Also, Madeleine Brand speaks with gun expert and author Tom Diaz on the politics behind gun control and the various tactics that have been seen in recent years to 'get around' gun laws. 
WEDNESDAY, January 16
Bucking the movement of immigration to the US, there has recently been noticeable growth in 'reverse migration,' a phenomenon where offspring of immigrants, or those who immigrated to the US as children are now migrating back to their countries of origin. Laura Ling reports on how and why this is happening, specifically back to Asian countries of origin.
In studio, Madeleine Brand speaks to Michael Apted, director of the "Up" documentary series, which began with a group of children in 1964 and has revisited the same group every seven years since. He has recently released his latest installment in the series, "56 Up."
THURSDAY, January 17
In a special investigation, correspondent Michael Okwu reports on the fastest-growing drug problem in the nation and how a broken healthcare system may be doing more to aide addicts than help them. With the death toll continuing to climb, the abuse of prescription drugs has now overtaken car accidents as the leading cause of accidental deaths in America, causing more fatalities than cocaine and heroin combined. 
SoCal Connected, winner of a Peabody and two duPont Awards, 17 Emmy® Awards, 19 Golden Mikes, 41 LA Press Club Awards, two Gracie Awards, and three regional Edward R. Murrow Awards, including Best News Documentary and Los Angeles Magazine's "Best New Local TV Program" of 2009, airs nightly at 5:30 p.m. with encores at 10:00 p.m. exclusively on KCET. For more information, to view episodes online or to leave comments, please visit www.socalconnected.org.
SoCal Connected is made possible through the generous support of The Ahmanson Foundation serving the Los Angeles community since 1952; Jim and Anne Rothenberg; the Maddocks Brown Foundation; The John Randolph Haynes and Dora Haynes Foundation; and The California Endowment.  
On-air, online and in the community, KCET plays a vital role in the cultural and educational enrichment of Southern and Central California. KCET offers a wide range of award-winning local programming as well as the finest public television programs from around the world. KCET currently produces the Emmy®, duPont-Columbia and Peabody Award-winning SoCal Connected, a hard-hitting prime-time nightly television news program that examines the issues and people of Southern California. Throughout its 48-year history, KCET has won hundreds of major awards for its local and regional news and public affairs programming, its national drama and documentary productions, its quality educational family and children's programs, its outreach and community services and its website, kcet.org. KCET is a donor-supported community institution. For additional information about KCET productions, web-exclusive content, programming schedules and community events, please visit kcet.org.
Ariel Carpenter or Ayn Allen
KCET Communications Department
747-201-5243; acarpenter@kcet.org
747-201-5886; aallen@kcet.org
Michelle Marron or Liza Nedelman
MPRM Communications
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