Amela Hubjer Hatić: Once a Journalist, Always a Journalist

Amela Hubjer Hatić: Once a Journalist, Always a Journalist

TVSA Chief Program Editor is equally driven and enthusiastic about her profession as a journalist right now as she was 20 years ago

This year, Sarajevo Television Station celebrated its 20th anniversary. The jubilee is one of the reasons why we decided to talk to the TVSA chief program editor, Amela Hubjer Hatić. Before assuming her current position, Amela was a journalist, a reporter, the morning program editor, entertainment and special program editor, as well as head of the entertainment and cultural and art program editorial board.

 

Since its inception to the present day, you have been a part of the TVSA team. How come you have stayed so loyal to this TV station for so many years?

– People usually say you never forget your first love, and that’s what happened to me and TVSA. I made a connection with the station from day one. I lived with my family in Sarajevo throughout the war and it was only logical that I’d audition in 1998 and start working at TVSA. I love Sarajevo, B&H and Bosnian people, and my TVSA belongs to Sarajevo, to Bosnia, to all peeps.

 

How important is the cantonal television station for the people of Sarajevo?

– They need a TV station such as ours, because we serve them. Our concept is to cover stories from the local to the global level. That’s our comparative advantage in comparison with other TV stations.

 

What do you think of your early career as a journalist? What was it like to be a journalist at the time?

– I began my career by working at the popular Radio-Sarajevo 202 station. Those days were wonderful—we learned, researched and were very respectful. The time we spent working there left an indelible mark on all of us and defined us as journalists. Priceless learning experience! The audition and the early days at TVSA were a totally new dimension of working for an electronic media outlet. It’s been wonderful; there’s been a lot of enthusiasm, strong desire to do as best as you can and learn everything there is to learn. Television implies team work, because people of different professions cannot work without each other: journalists, cameramen, video editors… Their work is woven into the fabric of the final product. And, we had no working hours, nobody even mentioned such hours.

What is it like to be a journalist nowadays?

– Once a journalist, always a journalist. I feel the same drive and enthusiasm today, plus my long-standing experience. I believe it’s a good formula particularly when you add the advancements in technology, the speed which allows you to report the information you have and do TV shows to the equation, the sky is the limit. But unfortunately, I have to add that over the years it’s become increasingly difficult for journalists to do their job in a professional manner. Politics has become heavily involved in all aspects of life, including journalism.

 

You specialized in editing entertainment programs at WOA in Missouri. What can you tell us of your experience in Missouri?

– The experience I’ve had at the oldest university with a program in journalism is priceless, as well as practical experience we gained at renowned TV stations such as NBC, FOX NEWS, ABC, WOA… All this has helped me to improve the TV shows and programs at TVSA that I’m editing today.

 

So far, you have been a journalist, a reporter, an editor, and you’ve worked on various projects. What do you do best?

– New projects are my biggest challenge. Launching new TV shows which aim to educate, entertain and lighten up TVSA viewers. I love shooting news reports about places, people, and customs. I love creating entertaining content, anything that has a positive impact on viewers. I don’t like it when I have bad news to report. Right now, I’m chief program editor at TVSA and that’s my greatest challenge.

There must have been some tough moments too. Television is a stressful media outlet. Since you have kept an optimistic attitude, how do you tackle stress and deal with bad days?

– A healthy and happy family, above all. The glass is always half full and not empty. Always look at the bright side of life—Monty Phyton sang. That’s my motto in life. My husband taught me that even at the most difficult moments in life, and there’s been one too many difficult moment, I always keep my eye on the future. The bottom line is, it’s all about genes. I was born like that, that’s what I was made of (laughs).

 

What was the most wonderful experience you have had as a journalist?

– The sense that I made viewers happy and content about what I do; I also made a lot of acquaintances and quite a few friends; I met people that I wouldn’t have met otherwise, had I not worked as a journalist… That’s what I believe means to be rich. I’m sometimes positively surprised when someone from the region calls my name and says “that’s Mrs Amela from TVSA”. I love this closeness that I have with viewers. Saying “Good morning!” and smiling to my Sarajevans, particularly to Željo fans (laughs), has been a real pleasure for the past 18 years.

 

What do you do in your spare time?

– I spend most of my free time with my family. My children have already grown up, but like any other mother, I love it when my husband and I can “be there for them”. I enjoy having them around. I also have two dogs, and I wouldn’t trade them for anything in the world. They are a great pastime activity for us. I love to read a good book, and I always turn to the Russian classics. When I can, I go to the mountains—Bjelašnica and Igman. I love these mountains ever since the Olympic Games took place.

 

Judging from your photos on social media, you love to travel. What’s the most enjoyable phase of travel for you?

– The initial phase: expectation and departure – I love it best. I love departing, but also coming back to my Sarajevo.

 

What is the trip that you have the fondest memories of and why?

– My trip to Egypt, definitely! What’s left of this great civilization, cultural heritage, fantastic Giza, Aswan, the Nile, people’s kindness, the beauty of Sahara Dessert, Nubians and their customs, colourful spices and fine delicacies in the Nubian market, the market on the Nile, pharaohs’ tombs,  the mortuary temple of Queen Hatshepsut, Karnak, Kairo… I could go on like this for hours. Egypt should be experienced by taking a boat ride along the Nile!

You often travel around the country. What would you recommend to those visiting B&H for the first time?

 

– To stay longer in B&H in order to see as much of its beauty as they can. Our homeland is wonderful, and its people are even more wonderful. Visitors should definitely get to see our rivers, mountains, lakes and the sea. There’s nothing like it anywhere else in the world. They should drink water at Baščaršija, and stay here indefinitely, like many other people have done before. In Bosnia and Herzegovina there’s room for all people with good intentions…

So far, you have been a journalist, a reporter, an editor, and you’ve worked on various projects. What do you do best?

– New projects are my biggest challenge. Launching new TV shows which aim to educate, entertain and lighten up TVSA viewers. I love shooting news reports about places, people, and customs. I love creating entertaining content, anything that has a positive impact on viewers. I don’t like it when I have bad news to report. Right now, I’m chief program editor at TVSA and that’s my greatest challenge.


I love this closeness that I have with viewers. Saying “Good morning” and smiling to my Sarajevans, particularly Željo fans (laughs), has been a real pleasure for the past 18 years