National Press Day: 16th of November is observed as National Press Day. The day is marked to honour the Press Council of India. It is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. Extending wishes for the day, Anurag Thakur, the current Minister of Sports, Youth Affairs and Minister of Information and Broadcasting tweeted, “On National Press Day I extend my warm wishes to all media persons. It is a day of reaffirmation of our collective commitment to responsible journalism without fear or favour. I look forward to media playing an increasingly constructive role in our democracy.”
National Press Day History
Nov 16 was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog. The body was formed to make sure that the press maintains the standards of journalism and is not influenced by the powerful. Suggesting the installation of a Press Council in 1956 the first Press Commission had deduced that the most reasonable way of sustaining professional standards in journalism would be to form an organization with statutory authority, of people predominantly associated with the industry whose responsibility it would be to arbitrate. Keeping this in mind, the Press Council of India was appointed and the body that has grown since.
Significance of National Press Day
As stated by the Press Council of India’s website, “Though there are several Press or Media Councils world over, the Press Council of India is a unique entity in as-much-as this is the only body to exercise an authority even over the instruments of the State in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press.”
November 16, therefore, embodies a trustworthy and free press in the country. To commemorate the day, several seminars are conducted to share the values laid by the PCI. This year, Information and Broadcasting Minister Anurag Thakur will be the chief guest at the National Press Day Celebration in Delhi.