Minister for Communications and Information Technology Parbat Gurung has said that the government wanted to establish Rastriya Samacahr samiti (RSS), the National News Agency, as the strong, influential source or bank of news and information.
Inaugurating the 60th anniversary or the Diamond Jubilee Year of the country's only official news agency here today, he urged the RSS to disseminate authentic, quality, objective, factual and transformational news while consolidating its management.
The Communications and Information Technology Minister also directed the news agency's management to prepare a plan and strategic action plan along with a review of its 60 years for transforming the institution.
He expressed the commitment to addressing the problems seen of late in RSS like those related to the temporary employees, the RSS statute and the employees career development through discussions and dialogue at the earliest.
Minister Gurung also pledged cooperation from the Ministry for the capacity enhancement of the employees and journalists at the news agency while urging the staffs and journalists to also change themselves and enhance their efficiency so as to maintain the prestige and the identity of their institution.
Minister Gurung, who is also the government spokesperson, said preparations were on to change the slogan 'Communications for Development' into 'Communications for Prosperity'. He also shared on the occasion that the government was bringing 'Social Networking Site Management Guidelines-2077' to make the social sites more systematic by removing the anomalies seen in it in recent period.
The Minister stated that preparations were being made to issue the press accreditation cards to journalists for a period of five years doing away with the provision of having to renew them annually.
He also reiterated that the government was always in favour of freedom of the press and also committed to the job security of the journalists.
Secretary at the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology, Hari Prasad Basyal suggested the RSs to post correspondents at all the 753 local units throughout the country to increase its outreach across the nation. He also stressed on the need of training to enable the RSS to be able to compete with the private sector media. Secretary Basyal also reminded that RSS' interests could best served if all sides moved ahead as per the existing laws, standard operation process and enhancing competitiveness.
RSS General Manager Opendra Sharma said the news agency's administration was committed to fulfilling the justified demands put forth by the employees unions and associations for the betterment of the RSS. He added that the RSS management would move ahead with a solid plan of action and its services diversified and expanded to reach all the media and subscribers.
GM Sharma also on the occasion spoke about the financial constraints facing the RSS to expand and diversify its services.
RSS Executive Manager Uttam Silwal announced that the RSS would soon launch its audio-visual service. He also shared that the institution was working to enhance the quality of its various services. Stating that RSs was planning to bring out news bulletins in other languages besides Nepali and English, Silwal also sought the cooperation from the Ministry in these endeavours.
President of Nepal National Employees Organisation, Prem Prasad Upadhyaya underscored the need of revising the RSS statute to make it more accommodative and in tune with the time. President of RSS Employees Association, Manoj Kumar Lamichhane stressed on protecting the interests of the employees through a revised statute.
Federation of Nepali Journalists (FNJ) RSS Chapter president Narayan Prasad Ghimire underlined the need of enhancing the quality of news along with the quantity. He also urged the government to think about federalizing RSS.
Source: National News Agency Nepal