Art Imitates Life: A Book Talk with author Alisyn Camerota

Amanda Wakes Up, by Alisyn Camerota

Hilarous and smart, Alisyn Camerota gives us a behind-the-scenes peek at how politics and journalism interact in the newsroom.  Inspired by real-life experience on network television, this charming, this debut novel, Amanda Wakes Up, follows an ambitious cable news journalist, Amanda Gallo, as she struggles with the concept of unbiased reporting, always being available to report breaking news and remaining professional and respected in the workplace. On the home front, Amanda also finds herself managing her mother’s expectations along with challenging boyfriend issues.  As an anchor at FAIR News, Amanda sees 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 “art imitates life!’

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.

 

Fake News

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.

Leaks

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.

Schedule

Currently Alisyn Camerota goes to bed at 8:00 pm and is up at 3:00 am to co-anchor CNN’s New Day.  From 3:30 am -4:30 am she catches up on all that has happened overnight emailing with her producer to request information she needs to challenge the scheduled guests.  At 4:30 am, she arrives at the studio, gets dressed, does hair and makeup, eats breakfast and is on set for 6:00 am.

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 unbiased 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.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alisyn Camerota is a journalist and cohost of CNN’s morning show New Day. Prior to joining CNN, Camerota was cohost of FOX News Channel’s morning show FOX + Friends Weekend. She has been a national correspondent for NBC’s morning magazine show Real Life and the crime show America’s Most Wanted. She has also worked as a reporter at several local stations, including WHDH in Boston, WLNE in Providence, and WTTG in Washington, D.C. She lives in the New York area with her husband and three children.

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