4 Minute Read
Raise your hand if your parents wanted you to take the doctor or lawyer route over a media career. Despite the odds, when passion meets purpose, that impact can make anyone unstoppable. On-Air Talent and media maven, Amanda Booz, hustled her way to New York to take over the journalism industry by storm. Using her experience, authenticity, and charisma, this BET Breaks Anchor is hard pressed to share the stories of others intended to inspire, inform, and entertain her audience. We caught up with the Florida-native on how she's breaking barriers in creative storytelling:
Amanda – thanks for taking the time to chat with us. Tell us a little bit about who you are.
My name is Amanda Booz, and I'm a passionate and influential media journalist, actress and lifestyle blogger. Born in Miami and raised in Miramar, Florida with a vibrant imagination, I knew I was destined to blaze the television screen as early as 5 years old. After my afternoon naps as a child, I would watch my shero, Oprah Winfrey, and literally, mimic her with my dolls and teddy bears. My parents thought I was suffering from the lonely only child syndrome but never imagined how my imitation microphone would one day turn into a real one. Oprah’s influence planted a seed that has blossomed me into the journalist I am today. Growing up in a Caribbean household, it was somewhat difficult to convince my parents to support my career in journalism; They would have much preferred that I become a doctor or a lawyer. While those are some exceptional career choices, I just knew that they weren't for me. I had to show and prove time and time again for them to see how I was made to do this! After working six media internships, two jobs in radio and graduating from the University of Central Florida, I landed a network television gig in New York City, the number one market in the country. Never give up!
Say that! Especially in the “attention economy”, there’s a huge responsibility of communicating credible and valid information. What are some of the ways to ensure you do that while telling a strong story?
I’m a firm advocate of being as authentic as possible when delivering a news story. People can read through all the fake and just want you to keep one hundred. I don’t believe in fabricating; the facts are the FACTS, and people deserve to know them no matter how real or raw it may be. One way I ensure the information I’m reporting is credible and valid is by doing extensive research and going straight to the source itself.
Nice. You’ve really shown the super stylish and chic side of you. How has showing that impacted your career?
Why, thank you! My passion for fashion comes from my mother, who is such an inspiration for me. From as long as I could remember she has worked in retail and has been my style icon. We both love the art of fashion, and she’s the chic one, to be honest. I still to this day steal clothes from her closet like the top I wore pictured below (which reminds me she may want this one back–but, it's a classic Ralph Lauren, so I may have to keep it.) My style has impacted my career because like me, its transcending and accurately shows the evolution of my growth in this industry.
Where do you see the journalism landscape changing and how are you staying ahead of that?
Your 5 o’clock news that you used to watch on the television will now be unedited and live-streamed on your cell phone. That's precisely how I think the journalism landscape is changing. Everything is moving digital, and people consume more news from there cell phone! Traditional news no longer breaks on TV it’s on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and SnapChat several hours before it broadcasts. As a journalist, it’s essential to be mindful of this and stay on it. You have to be ahead of the game on all your social platforms and be ready to go live anytime and anywhere. Everything is happening in real time.
What are you doing to change the face of media?
What I’m doing to change the face of media is to bring compassion back. It's ok to show your sympathy or excitement for a story because emotions are real and it shows real strength. I report the news and often want to cry, hug, love, laugh and celebrate the victories of others. Showing the real you is crucial and people will relate more to my moments of vulnerability than the flawless outtakes. People will always remember how you made them feel!
What's next for Amanda Booz and where can people find you and your work?
Next for me is creating opportunities for the younger generation of up-and-coming young storytellers. I plan to work more with the community and mentor our youth because our future lies in their hands. I’m a firm believer in that. I plan on continuing to grow as a journalist by always being a student. You can never stop learning and intend on sharing everything that I acquire with those who need it. I’m working on curating a few events in 2018 and will be sharing soon… More info to come via my website (AmandaBooz.com). You can find my work on BET Breaks, YouTube, and my personal website. Always stay connected with me on my social platforms;
Watch the behind the scenes of Amanda Booz's first commercial for the American Black Film Festival (ABFF) 2017: