Feb 13, 2024 - Politics & Policy

Exclusive: Inside the show inspired by Amy Chozick's "Chasing Hillary"

Four journalists stand at a convention on "The Girls on the Bus"
The four journalists in "The Girls On The Bus." Photo: Nicole Rivelli/Max

A new series inspired by "Chasing Hillary" — the bestselling book by journalist Amy Chozick that details her experience covering Hillary Clinton across two campaigns — is debuting on Max next month.

Why it matters: The show, called "The Girls On The Bus," attempts to paint an authentic portrait of life as a political journalist at a time when trust in media is cratering.

  • "While we were working on the show, we were kind of watching in real time both the business problems that the [media] industry was facing and also this lack of trust," Chozick told Axios.

The big picture: The show — premiering on March 14 — is set in a fictional world during a modern election year and follows four women journalists on the campaign trail.

  • "With these girls, it's a celebration of journalism, but it also makes the job look really hard. It's prestigious, but it's not glamorous," Chozick said.
  • "You'll see them handed turkey sandwiches, you'll see them get stuck on a bus that breaks down somewhere, they're sleeping in a different hotel every night … and, ultimately, they really just want to get it right."

The characters represent four different types of journalists: two of them work for legacy print media companies, one is a broadcast reporter for a conservative network and one is a TikToker, who has perhaps the largest following of all.

  • But they become unlikely friends on the campaign trail. "The bus forces you to become a found family," says Chozick, one of the executive producers of the show.
  • Chozick covered Clinton in 2008 for The Wall Street Journal and in 2016 for The New York Times.

Between the lines: The show explores many of the trends affecting media companies and journalists today.

  • In the first episode, for example, a reporter and her editor grapple with objectivity versus authenticity. They discuss whether journalists might gain readers' trust by being honest about the fact that they, like all people, have perspectives based on their life experiences.
  • The show also examines how reporting has changed with technology, depicting journalists who are working on social media and constantly chasing scoops to meet the 24/7 demands of the web.

Zoom in: To capture what life on the trail is really like, prop designers on the show tried to nail the tiny details, Chozick says.

  • The prop press pass to the DNC is nearly indistinguishable from her real one.
Go deeper