Shreeram Singh BasnetSenior Journalist and Former Chief Editor, National News Agency
Trained in a Gurukul
Reading and writing has remained my passion since the school days. As a college student I used to write for literary publications. After earning a Masters’ Degree from TU, I started teaching at Sitaram High School, Ramkot VDC in Kathmandu, for my livelihood.
In 1986, when NPI invited applications for the second batch of its 10-month Proficiency Journalism course I immediately applied and sat for the entrance test. I was fortunate to be among the selected candidates, and it became a turning point in my career. While some of family members persuaded me to opt for a government job, I did not think twice in my decision to go for journalism.
In fact, NPI turned out to be a gurukul (guru’s school) for all of us in the group. Bharat Dutta Koirala, Gokul Pokharel, DhrubaHari Adhikary, Sarat Chandra Wasti were our real gurus. I am grateful especially to Adhikary (training coordinator)and Wasti (Nepali language trainer) for jointly doing the job of a potter who shapes clay into pots.
After completing eight-month of classroom training, we were assigned to various media for a two-month internship. I was sent to Sameekshyaa, a Nepali weekly published in Kathmandu. It was an opportunity for me to work under the guidance of veteran journalist and novelist Madanmani Dixit. I became a reporter almost instantly. Actually the initial internship there got converted into a four-year-long association! Meanwhile, Gorkhapatra advertised for the post of a sub-editor. I passed the written examinations but could not be successful in interview. A few months later, Rashtriya Samachar Samiti (RSS) made an announcement soliciting applications for a few reporters. This time, I passed both written and oral tests. RSS took me in; and without support of any political crutches, I have spent 27 years as a news agency journalist. The confidence, capability and professional commitments I gained as a student from NPI have guided me throughout these years. In mid-2015, I will have to retire from RSS, but I am determined not to retire from my passion any time soon.