Wednesday, February 23, 2011


There's a common belief that local TV news is filled with bad stories. Stories of bad people, dumb people, and mistakes people make. That's sometimes true. There's also many stories of success, non-profits, and heroism.

But sometimes there's stories about tragedy and death. That was the case for my story on Friday.

A Medford man who was working for the Oregon Department of Forestry was clearing a hiking trail in the northern part of the state when a falling boulder killed him. He was only 59 years old.

I was assigned with the story of telling the story of his character. Talking with his friends and family and co-workers.

Not the easiest or most desirable of jobs.

I found his name in the phone book and found his website with a list of references he had worked with. I started calling numbers and leaving messages. I drove to his house and tried finding any neighbors who knew him. A few did and had very nice things to say about him.

But that just made everything worse.

I was the person who told seven people that their friend had died. They had no idea about anything until I talked to them.

I was the grim reaper to these people.

What made it worse is that, I was charged with getting interviews with some of these people.


Easily, one of the worse consequences of working this field.

1 comment:

  1. To say the camera changed the people gives the camera too much power. You can liken the camera to a bottle of alcohol, a car, a cell phone or any other inanimate object that can affect a person's behavior. Bottom line: people make choices about their behavior and moderation is key in everything.