Every year, India celebrates National Press Day on November 16 in honour of the Press Council of India. The National Press Day is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India.
National Press Day 2023: History
November 16 was the day on which the Press Council of India started functioning as a moral watchdog to ensure that not only did the press maintain the high standards expected from this powerful medium but also that it was not fettered by the influence or threats of any extraneous factors.
“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 authority even over the instruments of the State in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press,” according to the information on Press Council of India’s website.
Recommending the establishment of a Press Council in 1956, the first Press Commission had concluded that the best way of maintaining professional ethics in journalism would be to bring into existence a body with statutory authority, of people principally connected with industry whose duty it would be to arbitrate.
To this end, the Press Council of India was established and the body that has evolved since November 16, 1966, has not belied the objective, the website states.
National Press Day 2023: Significance
National Press Day also serves as a reminder of the sacrifices made by journalists to bring the truth to the public, often facing threats and challenges in their pursuit of honest reporting. It’s a day of both celebration and introspection for the media community in India, highlighting both its achievements and the ongoing struggles for press freedom and integrity in journalism.
Last year, the Press Council of India celebrated National Press Day 2022 at SCOPE Convention Centre, SCOPE Complex in New Delhi on the theme “The Media’s Role in Nation Building’’
Union Minister Anurag Singh Thakur was the Chief Guest and Dr L Murugan, Minister of State for Information and Broadcasting, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying was the Guest of Honour in the ceremony.
Journalist Swapan Dasgupta delivered the Keynote Lecture and Justice Ranjana Prakash Desai, Chairperson, Press Council of India, presided over the function.
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