Hilarous and smart, Alisyn Camerota gives us a peak behind the scenes of politics and journalism in the newsroom. No doubt, inspired by real life experiences on broadcast television, this charming, fictitious debut, Amanda Wakes Up, follows Amanda Gallo, the ambitious cable news journalist as she lives the exciting life of a reporter, struggling with the concept of unbias reporting, always being available to report breaking news and remaining profesional and respected in the workplace while on the home front, managing her mother’s expectations along with challenging boyfriend issues. Amanda is the anchor at FAIR News and things heat up during the election season when the political candidates have air time. If you follow politics and watch the news, you will thoroughly enjoy this humorous story that brings to my mind the saying “Life imitates art”!
I met the vibrant and eloquent Alisyn Camerota at a book talk where she spoke about her career as a journalist and some interesting tidbits about news, politics and her book.
Camerota believes not all news is created equal. She said CNN, WSJ, NYT, Washington Post, for example all have rules. Vetted sources are required (at least 2) and if something reported was found to be not true, it must be retracted immediately. On blogs and news websites there may be no rules, so check your sources.
Learning the Truth
Camerota said she makes the effort not to share her opinions on air and tries to be open during interviews, looking for the information. When she knows she is being lied to she challenges the guest. Often times guests come on tv to spin the truth and deflect; she tries to get them to refocus by redirecting.
When asked how important leaks are Camerota said at the moment they are very important. Today there are more leaks than ever, not national security leaks, but just insiders revealing the way things work in the government.
Amanda Wakes Up
Camerota was a weekend anchor in 2011-2012 and at that time, during the presidential race, where there were nine republican candidates, she started taking notes for posterity. Seeing how personal relationships color the news and how the news colors the relationships she decided to write more. She wanted to capture the breathless quality of working in live news; an anchor needs to understand the facts and be prepared for the unexpected when on the air. Amanda Wakes Up is based on her 25 years of being in the news.
Currently Alisyn Camerota goes to bed at 8pm and is up at 3am to co-anchor CNN’s New Day. From 3:30-4:30am she catches up on all that has happened overnight emailing with her producer to request information she needs to challenge the scheduled guests. At 4:30am she arrives at the studio, gets dressed, hair and makeup done, eats breakfast and is on set for 6:00am.
I enjoyed Amanda Wakes Up and the inside look at broadcast journalism as Camerota brings to light the challenges the media faces today when it comes to honest and unbias reporting, breaking news, fake news and news leaks, along with the perils of women working in early morning tv, and the struggle of life and work balance.
As Seen on Goodreads:
When Amanda Gallo, fresh from the backwater of local TV, lands the job of her dreams at FAIR News—the coveted morning anchor slot—she’s finally made it: a six-figure salary, wardrobe allowance, plenty of on-air face time, and a chance to realize her dreams, not to mention buy herself lunch. Amanda Wakes Up takes off as Amanda feels for the first time that she can make her mom and her best friend proud and think about an actual future with her boyfriend, Charlie. But she finds her journalistic ideals shredded as she struggles to keep up with the issues in a ratings-crazed madhouse—battling for hair and makeup time, coping with her sexist (but scathingly handsome) coanchor, Rob, mixing up the headlines with pajama modeling on the street, and showing Benji Diggs, her media maestro boss, that she’s got what it takes.
As the news heats up in a hotly contested election season and a wild-card candidate, former Hollywood actor Victor Fluke, appears on the scene, Amanda’s pressure-cooker job gets hotter as her personal life unravels. Walking a knife’s edge between ambition and survival, and about to break the biggest story of her career, Amanda must decide what she’s willing to give up to get ahead—and what she needs to hold on to save herself.
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