I Had Worked for 8 months Without any Salary in TV Derana. Just Because of my Desire to Learn Things.

I was a student of Thurstan College. The experience I got from school is unmatched by any other. And that is the main reason I am being able to go forward with hard work. I am a very clever student but not much in mathematics. I sat for the O/L exam in 2005. 60% of our previous batch was failed the examination. So the government held a special exam for us. I could only make 27 marks in mathematics. A professor who was invited by the school, brainwashed us. Said if we failed mathematics it is pointless to study in our school. There were only 3 months left for the O/L exam. I went home and started to solve problems in mathematics textbooks grades 9 to 10. I had an A pass for mathematics just from 3 months of work. I am pretty sure I had scored more than 97 in it. Even my mother was surprised by the result. How it is possible to be going from 28 marks to an A pass in just 3 months. Nothing we can’t achieve if we worked hard.

Hasitha Wijewardena with his Mother and Farther

I first joined Rupawahini with the Athuru Mithuru program. Then I had able to join Derana as a training news reporter while I studying for A/L. Didn’t take any salary for 8 months. I just wanted to learn. I was dreaming to become a journalist. Derana channel was not so popular back then and that was a pain to me. When I offer the microphone, people ask who I am and look what is this channel. Some people had asked, “Is Derana a cab service”. But the situation is completely changed now. Even parliament members are trying to broadcast their advertisements on Derena now. We didn’t have much those days but now we have the biggest studio in south Asia. Also, we have most facilities in Sri Lanka.
Then I worked as a sports reporter. I covered matches, send updates via phone. When I send updates I wrote them on paper. I was afraid that much to give updates for a live match. Then I am used to telling while looking scoreboard on my phone. While working there I became the presenter. Used that paper method for that too. The Chief of the camera section blames me. “Are you gonna read papers forever?”

I am stated to notice for the public from the Patta Pata Pata program. Then I had able to do Mokada Une? Programm. Then I moved to the general and political news side. I met parliament members. I could report parliament status. My years-long affair was break up in 2014. I suffered for roughly 8 months. I wished I was dead. But my endurance was improved. Even today when I have a problem I think this is nothing compared to what I have been through.

You can’t become a journalist just by holding a mic in front of a camera. There were many posts based on our various mistakes. Many people ashamed me. “ Are you an educated one?”, “Are you a psychopath?”. I even received death threats on Facebook. Some YouTubers think there is no one like them when two or three videos of them hit. I spend 6 to7 years to know people well as a journalist. Young journalists come to the channel. They want a salary since the beginning and request to present. But I joined Derena in 2009 and I was able to present in 2013 or 2014.

Derana treats its employees best among other channels in Sri Lanka. It is like a father taking care of his children. We have been given more freedom. Don’t join a channel to become famous. If you want that you better start acting. Become a celebrity. If you want to make money become a businessman. To become a journalist, learn well. Don’t go after publicity.

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