From Seattle: How a day in the life of a Video Journalist unfolds. Learn about WSDOT & Homeowners.

6:07 the alarm went off; I was really tired and so I lied in bed after using one eye to mute the buzzer off on the world’s worst phone, the iPhone 6.

I slept naked, with my briefs on; just incase I died and the police would come and check my corpse with dead nuts lying around.

Time started flying as I was having my cheese bagel followed by a jam and butter cinnamoned one.

One of the main challenges of being a freelance journalist is you never know where you are going to go, what you’re going to cover or what you should be preparing until the last minute when you receive the story.

I used to stress out when I first started but now, I am so in love with the unknown that I have become a master at the making when not knowing what I am about to do.

In the news today,

Critics say ‘WSDOT is breaking the law’ with I-405 toll lanes.

WSDOT (Washington State Department of Transportation) is accused of breaking the law with its tolls implementation on the I-405 freeway that goes through Bothell, Bellevue, Kirkland, Lynwood and more.

The department is accused of not meeting one of the two requirements which is easing the traffic flow especially at peak hours.

David Hablewitz, the co-founder of, told KIRO Radio’s Dori Monson “the recent report showing the lanes did not meet one of the two necessary requirements to remain in operation proves ‘WSDOT is breaking the law.'”

Hablewitz claimed that “They’ve gone two years and they’re still not meeting the target.”

According to reports, the lanes cost $16 million to run but they generate $44.5 million which is $29 million in profits that can be invested back into I-405 improvements.

The maximum toll charge goes to $10 at one time and a review done by University of Minnesota suggests raising maximum toll well over the $10 mark.

And so,

I researched what footage I need to take for that kind of story; I started thinking out loud, making sure not to wake the neighbors or Gracy, the dog, ”Google where the toll signs are located on the I-405 and take some footage from an overpass”

Such thought was a failure as the more I zoomed in in google maps, earth mode, the more it got blurry.

“How about a junction with crosswalk marks?”

That did the trick.

I finished the last sip of coffee, making sure I cleaned the cup dry with my tung, then made my way to catch the 331 heading to Aurora Village.

Realizing it’s Friday, put a smile on my grumpy morning outlook during the bus ride.

I got off one stop before planned as I found a better spot at a different over pass than I earlier had in mind.

Took the shots, ignoring every passerby strange look at me, then caught the 535 to the next stop hoping to get closer to a toll sign.

When I got off, I realized I was steps away from the driving school where I got my driver’s license a month ago.

Over the overpass, I took some shots however the toll sign was still far away in the scene.

I caught the 535 back heading to Alderwood Mall, made my way through some bushes till I got to a high electrical tower, took a couple of shots of the sun hiding behind the clouds while the I-405 was roaring in the near ground with cars speeding at 80 mile per hour.

Finally, having banked enough shots, I headed to the mall, got some interviews in front of a water money fountain, where people throw coins hoping to get a wish, when I banked another  3 shots.

In the mall, I found Santa taking photos with kids; I asked “Can I take one?” with a look already saying Grow Up, from the photographer ”it’s $39″ I thought silently ‘I didn’t ask for the price then mumbled ‘Why does she hate me already?’ when I smiled back and said “Ok thank you”

I said “Hi” then waived a Goodbye to Santa.


On a couch in the middle of the mall, I uploaded the videos, opened a bag of M&M’s when I hurt the inside of the roof of my mouth and felt the taste of blood mixing with the chocolaty peanuts.

11:03 I pressed “Finish Job” when another one came straight through.

In the news today,

Homeowners prefer remodeling instead of buying new houses.

Migration from California to Washington have bumped the housing prices in the state simply because Californians can afford investing high prices in the market bringing the demand up and the price mark as well.

Tacoma which is a city south of Seattle used to have affordable houses, as Seattleits used to migrate south to afford buying a house however now, all has changed.

Homeowners prefer to remodel their homes if they have cash to spare instead of buying a new house because they can not keep up with the competitive market.


In the job description of the story, I was asked to shoot banks, credit unions, and houses under construction.

I looked at the watch and it pointed 12:00. I thought “Where the heck did the last 57 minutes go?”

It took me almost an hour reading the news article, researching it, googling where I would go to take shots and how would I get there.

At that moment, I wanted to quit not just my job, but my entire life.

And so,

I thought out loud “Sherif, you always stress more in your imagination. The story will be shot, sent and you will eventually go home to Gracy, the dog.”

That line of thought pushed me forward, I managed to grab the shots after taking 4 buses going back and forth in directions until I got motion sickness.

I ended up near a lake and watched some ducks swimming which soothed the dizziness.


I went to Starbucks, uploaded the videos, and headed for the bus to get back to my home sweet home where I was greeted with a waggy tail and a happy face of my sweet beautiful Gracy.

Good night……


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