National Press day
The National Press Day on November 16 every year is commemorated in befitting manner by the Council. National Press Day was celebrated on 16th of November is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India.
This 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 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 an authority even over the instruments of the state in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press. The Press Council established in 1956. The Ist 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. The Press Council of India was established and the body that was evolved since November 16, 1966 has not belied the objective.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi greeted media on National Press Day, and appreciated their contribution to make India a democratic country. PM Narendra Modi also assured his government is committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms. India celebrated the National Press Day on November 16 as the Press Council of India started functioning as a responsible body overlooking the works of the press as a whole body on this day. The Prime Minister said the rise of social media will make the press more democratic and increase the public participation.
Some of the past themes of National Press Day:
1. The day november 16 therefore personifies a responsible and free press in the country. Since the year 1997 following Seminars have been organized by the Press Council on occasion of National Press Day. The seminar of 1997 was a two- day Seminar from November 16-17 of the year 1997.
2. The theme of the seminar was to celebrate the 50 years of Press in India, to raise the attacks on the freedom of the Press and to create the awareness about Right to Information.
3. The next seminar on November 16-17, 1998 was on Role of Media in Crises Situations Constitutional Crises, Political Crises, Economic Crises, Social Crises, Security Crises and Threats to the Freedom of the Press on Internal and External. The seminar on November 16, 1999 was on the theme of
4. “ Media and Society” which explained the Role of Media in nurturing awareness of fundamental duties among citizens, Role of Media in preserving rich composite heritage and tradition of the country and in promoting democracy and Media’s role in arousing popular conscience to promote peace, harmony and brotherhood transcending barriers of caste, religion and sectional interests.
5. November 16, 2000 theme was“Role of Media : Preparing People to Cope with Disasters”
6. November 16, 2001 on “Projection of Women by Media in Present Day Context” & “Occupational Hazards Faced by Mediapersons in Conflict Situations-Relief and Rehabilitation Measures in Fatal Cases”.
The U.S. Consulate General in Chennai commemorated the day by organising a panel discussion on “Digital influence on traditional media." During the discussion, the speakers opined that tweets have become breaking news and they even set the agenda for news organisations. Digital media has become inevitable in the present day context and it greatly influenced the traditional media often making it churn follow up stories.Sometimes, the circulation of messages on WhatsApp in haste and without verifying its authenticity or source most invariably confused the people and even the traditional media, particularly the print.
The National Press Day is symbolic of a free and responsible press in the country. The Press Council of India was first constituted on 4th July 1966 as an autonomous, statutory, quasi-judicial body, with Shri Justice J R Mudholkar, then a Judge of the Supreme Court, as Chairman. A free press is the cornerstone of a vibrant democracy. We are fully committed to upholding freedom of press and expression in all forms. May our media space be used more and more to showcase the skills, strengths and creativity of 125 crore Indians.