An independent and free press is one of the four pillars of a strong democracy. To highlight the importance of a free and independent press in India, National Press Day is celebrated on the 16th of November every year. The press council of India is a free-acting body. Press Day is celebrated to also honour its contribution to making India a democracy.
While the media acts as one of the pillars of a democratic nation, the journalists working in various media houses (print and broadcast) act as the mirror whose reports and stories reflect various aspects of society, as they are and with complete truth. The 16th of November portrays the press’s freedom, duties, and responsibilities towards the citizens.
IAS exam aspirants must also familiarise themselves with the List of Important National and International Days/Dates, important from the CSE perspective.
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History of the National Press Day – India
In November 1954, the First Press Commission envisioned forming a committee or body that enjoyed statutory authority to keep the ethics of journalism under check and maintain it properly. In addition, the commission realized that a proper managing body was required to maintain an appropriate connection with all the press bodies and tackle issues that the press faced.
Thus, ten years later, in November 1966, the PCI or the Press Commission of India was formed under Justice J.R. Mudholkar to monitor the proper functioning of the Indian media and press, checking the quality of the reporting. PCI’s job is to ensure that the press and media are not swayed by any influence or external factors. After the Press Council of India was established on the 4th of July, it started functioning from the 16th of November. To commemorate the establishment of the body, the day is celebrated as the National Press Day of India.
This year, National Press Day 2022 will mark the 56th anniversary of the Press Council’s establishment.
Questions regarding the history of the National Press Day and the Press Council of India are very common in UPSC Prelims. So learning in detail is a must.
Celebrating the National Press Day of India
To celebrate National Press Day, the Press Council of India arranges various seminars and workshops to raise multiple issues faced by the Indian press, as well as try to educate the citizens on various matters further. Seminars and workshops are organised on topics, such as the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the role and approach of the media while facing various sorts of crisis, the duty of the Indian press to promote the notion of their Fundamental Duties to make the citizens more aware, and finally, relaying proper measures to the citizens in times of crisis.
Apart from tackling the issues mentioned above, these workshops and seminars also aim to educate the people about the significance of free and just media in a democratic nation for a day or two. Additionally, the day is also celebrated to ensure the media has a clear vision of its purpose and responsibility.
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