Over the weekend, I finished Sheila Weller’s The News Sorority.
This unauthorized biography documents the rise through the journalistic ranks of Katie Couric, Diane Sawyer and Christiane Amanpour.
Weller interviewed dozens of people who worked with and/or knew these three women as they began their careers and worked their way into the roles they became most well-known for (Katie at The Today Show, Diane at Good Morning American and Christiane as a foreign correspondent for CNN).
As a female reporter, I was interested to learn more about how these women broke through the glass ceiling. I was excited to maybe garner some insight about something they all did to maybe help further my own career.
I was disappointed. Weller puts some focus on the “catty”–for lack of a better way to term it–ways in which these women rose to the top. The ways in which these women got people fired. The ways these women pushed their own agendas in ways that kept their names out of it.
As a professional woman, I would like to think that these women earned their stripes of their own accord. They did it the “right” way, and to some degree, they did. I also understand that television is a business based on image, not necessarily on merit.
But Weller also used NUMEROUS unnamed sources to describe these scenarios. These unnamed sources, some of whom are noted as continuing to work in situations where talking about these women could get them fired, tell stories about things getting done in certain ways.
By not naming sources, those stories lose a certain credibility.
I was hoping for much more from this book. As captivated as I was by the things Christiane Amanpour went through in her life to get to CNN, and as fascinated as I was by the rejection Katie and Diane both suffered before getting a break, I wasn’t overwhelmed by this book.
I would say this book is a good start on learning about these women, but there was certainly more work to be done.