Every year on 16th November, National Press Day is observed to commemorate the establishment of the Press Council of India. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Press Council of India’s foundation. On National Press Day, it is also emphasised how important it is to have a free press in the nation and it is frequently referred to as the voice of the powerless since the free press acts as a common channel of communication.
Additionally, it highlights the faults in the system and aids the government in identifying fixes. As a result, the independent press is referred to as the fourth pillar of a solid democracy in which the common public has a direct voice.
National Press Day: History
The First Press Commission made the decision in 1956 to establish an organisation with statutory authority tasked with maintaining journalistic ethics. The Commission believed that a governing entity was required to interact with the press community and to manage any disputes that could emerge.
The Press Council of India (PCI) was then founded on 16 November 1966. Since then, 16 November has been celebrated as India's National Press Day.
The council is typically presided over by a retired Supreme Court judge and 28 additional members, 20 of whom are representatives of Indian media organisations. The Houses of Parliament nominates another 5 members, while the remaining 3 come from the domains of culture, law, and literature.
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National Press Day: Significance
Today's world has made media just as important as food and clothing. It has become a crucial contributor to the progress of society. The media is seen as a "mirror" of society, but it also, in turn, influences our lives.
PCI is very significant to India since it was designed from the outset to safeguard the free press, the fourth pillar of democracy. Consequently, it continuously strives to ensure that journalism standards are maintained in the country. It has the authority to summon, caution, or criticise any media organisation or individual it has received a complaint against. However, it lacks the authority to impose sanctions and is only limited to print media. With regard to the press, it develops policies or works with the government to do so. The council also formalises the ethics and norms of journalism.
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The Press Council of India hosts a number of seminars and workshops to discuss the many difficulties the Indian press faces as well as to increase the public's education on a variety of topics in honour of National Press Day. Along with informing the public on the need for free and fair media in a democratic country, these workshops and seminars also seek to educate the public.