Som Lisaius is KOLD News 13's Crime Specialist and the face of Tucson's Most Wanted: the longest running, most successful Crime Stopper segment in Southern Arizona today.
Born in Thailand, Som moved to Howell, Michigan when he was only six months old. He spent most of his childhood rural, northern Michigan before attending Alma College and earning a Bachelor of the Arts Degree in English. He later received a Master's in Broadcast Journalism from Boston University before returning to Michigan to work for another Raycom Station in Traverse City. In January, 2000, Som followed family to Tucson and became a reporter for KOLD-TV, where he's won numerous civic, humanitarian and journalism awards, including the Arizona Associated Press Reporter of the Year.
To demonstrate the plight of Mexican immigrants in his three-part series "Surviving the Desert," Som endured 110 degree temperatures as he walked 36 miles from Mexico through the Arizona desert with a limited supply of water. "It's a sad story when people die in the desert every day...and it's reduced to a 10-second soundbite."
Som doesn't, however, like the stigma of reporters as disaster profiteers, and stresses that their primary goal is to discover what can be learned from even the worst situations. Reporting also has a dramatic appeal for Som, "I like trying to get to the bottom of things--and finding the real truth in people," he says. "We all have stories...I look at this not only as problem solving, but storytelling."
When not reporting, Som enjoys both playing and watching a wide variety of sports. At one point, he strived for a career in professional baseball--"Until I finally woke up." He also likes to read, and hopes to one day write a book of his own, probably about life in the field of broadcasting. As for reporting in Southern Arizona, Som couldn't be more optimistic: "Tucson is a fantastic place to be right now because it's growing so fast... Why not be in the middle of it?"
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