KATHMANDU, Feb. 18: The country´s only news agency—Rastriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) turned 52 from Monday.
The state-owned news agency came into existence after the merger of Nepal Sambad Samiti and Sagarmatha Sambat Samiti in 2018 B.S.
The RSS is providing national and international news services—features, audio clips and photos to over 110 clients across the country. A total of 133 journalists and officials, and district stringers are working at RSS.
Addressing the programme organized to mark the 52nd anniversary, Chief Secretary of the government Leela Mani Paudyal suggested the RSS staffers to be active and hardworking to ensure the future of the RSS.
He also said that the RSS should compete with the private sector in terms of providing quality service.
Also speaking at the programme, Secretary at the Ministry of Information and Communications Dhruba Prasad Sharma said that the RSS was the country´s pride and heritage and stressed for maximum utilization of information technology.
He also said that the Ministry was always ready for taking policy-level decisions in the interest of the news agency.
On the occasion, Secretary Sharma honored journalists and officials of the RSS.
Similarly, RSS Chairman Komalnath Baral said the RSS was facing many hindrances including budget crisis and officials´ career development, among others.
He also said that Ministry´s support was needed to amend the old policies and regulations and added that autonomy of the organization was needed for its quality development.
Likewise, General Manager of RSS Ram Kumar Koirala said dissemination of truth and factual, authentic and balanced news was the identity of RSS.
The news agency was planning to best utilize its physical property for its independence, he added.
Also speaking at the same program, General Manager of Gorkhapatra Corporation Kapil Ghimire said the state-owned news organizations were facing problems due to political appointments.
Former Chief Editor of RSS Khil Dhowj, who was felicitated on the occasion, said the government should give opportunity to the state-owned media houses to become independent and should support in technical and financial aspects.
Chief Editor of RSS Shreeram Singh Basnet complained that the government has no news agency policy and it was categorizing the news agency either as print media or as electronic one.
Chairman of Federation of Nepali Journalists RSS chapter Surya Chandra Basnet, Secretary of RSS Employees´ Association Rajaram Karki and Chairman of Nepal National Employees´ Organization RSS chapter Prem Upadhyay, among others expressed their views at the function.
On the occasion, Secretary Sharma and RSS Chairman Baral conferred different prizes on various personalities of the organization.
Chief Reporter Nirmal Acharya and executive editor Somnath Lamichhane were honored with RSS Journalism Prize-2069 B.S. The prize instituted by FNJ RSS chapter carries a purse of Rs 10,000 each.
Similarly, Chief of Bharatpur district office of RSS Narayan Adhikari was honored with ´RSS Diligent Journalism Prize´ while ´Umakanta-Geetadevi-Chandramani Rajaure Memorial Journalism Award´ to RSS Hetauda district correspondent Krishna Ram Pariyar. The prizes carry separate purses of Rs 5,000.
Likewise, ´Basu Rimal Yatri Memorial Prize´ was conferred on reporter Bishwa Kumar Sharma, assistant-manager Hera Bahadur Singh and office assistant of RSS Eastern Regional Office, Biratnagar, Kamal Bahadur Thakuri. The prize carries a purse of Rs 5,555.
Similarly, ´Aditya Dhowj Joshi Memorial Prize´ instituted by Nepal National Employees´ Organization RSS chapter was conferred on reporter Madan Gautam and Office Assistant of Sagarmatha Zonal Office, Rajbiraj, Shambhu Prasad Yadav. The prize carries a sum of Rs 5,555 each.
Similarly, RSS English Desk Chief Tirtha Prasad Bhattarai was honored with Press Chautari Journalism Award. The prize carries a purse of Rs 5,000.
Makawanpur district correspondent Krishna Ram Pariyar and Sunsari reporter Yam Pradhan were honored for their continuous service to the RSS.
Central Office´s Hari Lamichhane and Bharat Pandey of Gulmi bagged the prize for their best news features.
Santosh Yadav (Eastern), Narayan Dhungana (Central), Sane Bahadur Nepali (Western), Hari Gautam (Mid-Western) and Rajendra Prasad Paneru (Far-Western) and Muna Karki (Valley) were honored as the best stringers of the year.
The honored stringers received a purse of Rs 3,000 each.
Similarly, the photo of Buddha Bir Rai of Solukhumbu received the prize under the best photo of the year