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National Press Day 2021; History and its significance

National Press Day 2021; History and its significance

National Press Day

National Press Day is observed on October 16th every year to acknowledge and honour the Press Council of India, a statutory and quasi-judicial establishment. The day marks the presence of an independent and responsible press in India.

The media is known as the fourth pillar of democracy. It is said that journalists are a mirror of society, which brings out the truth even in adverse circumstances. This day symbolizes freedom of the press and its responsibilities towards society. The Press Council of India started functioning on this day.

History of National Press Day:

The First Press Commission 1956 envisioned a committee to protect the ethics of journalism and freedom of the press in India. It led to the formation of a Press Council 10 years later.

The Press Council of India monitors all journalistic activities to keep credibility intact. The Press Council of India plays an important role in maintaining a healthy democracy in the country. It also ensures that the press in India is not affected by any external matter.

The Press Council of India was instituted on November 16, 1966, to monitor the quality of reportage provided by the Indian press. The Press Council of India acts as a moral watchdog in ensuring that Indian journalists are not driven by any influence or external factors. After that, the Press Council was established on 4 July 1966 in India, which started its work on 16 November 1966. From that day, November 16 is celebrated as National Press Day every year.

How is the day celebrated?

Since the Press Council was formed,  various seminars are organized by the Press Council on 16 November to commemorate this day.
Seminars have been held by the PCI on various issues such as the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the role of media in a crisis, the media’s role in nurturing awareness of Fundamental Duties among citizens and its role in preparing people to cope with disasters. The seminars are held for either one or two days and educate people about the importance of a free and responsible press in the country.

The Press Council of India (PCI) on Tuesday celebrated the National Press Day, with eminent personalities recalling the media’s contribution and evolution in the country. The PCI organised a seminar on the topic, ‘Who is not afraid of media?’, to mark the occasion.

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Addressing the seminar, Swaminathan Gurumurthy, editor of Tamil language Thuglak magazine traced the changes media has undergone from the pre-Independence era to the present day. Gurumurty was invited as a guest of honour at the event hosted by the media watchdog which is headed by Justice (retd) Chandramauli Kumar Prasad.

Media is the best way to spread knowledge, information and news from one part of the world to the other. Media educates the people to know about their basic rights and how to use them. It is also a link between the government and people because all the policies and activities of government are conveyed through the media. Media freedom is generally held to be necessary for democratic societies. It helps maintain the balance of power in government.


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