Five reasons I know working in broadcast news has driven me insane

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By Travis Mayfield

 1. Every single disease I report on, no matter how rare, I believe I have contracted it

Simple cold symptoms means I have Asbestosis, a fever has me Googling Swine Flu and a momentary lapse in memory has me convinced its early onset Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease.

2. I now sleep with my iPhone. 

Yes folks it is true. My iPhone is the last thing I touch before I go to sleep and the first thing I grab upon my waking. I have actually forgotten the last day I went without checking Twitter and any app that wants to send me push alerts is an automatic yes. 

3. I see a lonely child’s tricycle or toy in a yard and instantly assume some horrible crime has befallen that child. 

Shooting video for a TV story about a crime against a child you always go to the home and look for evidence a child lived there. So while my narration is talking about the horrible crime, the on screen video shows a single pink bike laying by itself on a brown lawn or a toy truck left precariously on the sidewalk. Watch closely the next time you see a story about a crime against a child, you’ll know what I mean. Note to our neighbors, leave toys in your yard and we’ll probably never talk to you again as I’ll assume you are child killers.

4. I tease things in real life. 

It’s new, it’s fresh, it’ll make your taste buds thank you for living. I’m Travis Mayfield and I’ll tell you what we’re having for dinner after you take out the trash!

5. No matter where in the world I am, I cannot sit down and watch just ONE TV news broadcast at 5:00 p.m., I need to watch three or four simultaneously. 

Here at my desk in the newsroom I have a TV that has a four-way split screen so I can watch all the local newscasts at the same time. When I am traveling I plant myself in front of a TV to check out what other locals look, sound and feel like. I get a little nuts, sitting on the hotel bed flipping back and forth to see what everyone’s graphic opens look like, what they are teasing, what stories are leading where, what the sets look like and then how they are stacking their shows. To anyone watching me watch all of this, the flipping is so fast it might look like I am staring directly into a strobe light.

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