National Press Day

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    In Context

    • India celebrates 16th November as National Press Day every year.

    More about the Day

    • About:
      • National Press Day is observed in honor of the Press Council of India. 
      • The day is meant to mark the presence of the free and responsible press in India.
    • Evolution of authority of maintaining the ethics of journalism: 
      • First Press Commission, 1956:
        • In the year 1956, the First Press Commission decided to form a body bestowed with statutory authority, meant to fulfill the responsibility of maintaining the ethics of journalism.
      • The Press Council of India, 1966:
        • In 1966, on 16the November, the PCI was formed and following this, the National Press Day has been celebrated ever since on 16th November, every year to commemorate the establishment of the council.

    Press Council of India (PCI)

    • Statute:
      • The PCI was established under the PCI Act of 1978 for the purpose of preserving the freedom of the press and of maintaining and improving the standards of newspapers and news agencies in India.
    • Responsibilities:
      • The Press Council of India is responsible for examining the quality of reportage from the Indian media, while also keeping a check on other journalistic activities.
    • Functions: 
      • Helping newspapers maintain their independence;
      • Build a code of conduct for journalists and news agencies; 
      • Help maintain “high standards of public taste” and foster responsibility among citizens; and
      • Review developments likely to restrict flow of news.
    • Chairperson & members:
      • The Press Council of India is traditionally chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge and 28 additional members of which 20 are members of the media outlets operating in India. 
      • Five members are nominated from the Houses of the Parliament and the remaining three represent cultural, legal and literary fields.

    Significance of Press Freedom

    • Independence of Press:
      • The freedom of the press is an essential aspect to maintain the independence of the press. 
    • Voice of the voiceless:
      • This ensures the integrity of the press as it is often referred to as the voice of the voiceless, a connecting link between the all-powerful rulers and those who are being ruled.
      • The goal of the press is to bring to light any injustice faced by the people and highlights the malaise of the system. 
    • One of the four pillars of democracy:
      • It is meant to help the government find solutions to these problems, while strengthening the values of the democratic system of governance. 
      • For this very reason, the press is often referred to as one of the four pillars of a strong democracy and is the only aspect where the common citizen can directly participate in. 
        • The other three pillars are the Executive, Legislative, and the Judiciary – a gang of select few.

    Source: ET