National Press Day 2021: Know Theme, Significance and Reason for Celebration

National Press Day 2021: Know the theme, significance, and reason for the celebration of National Press Day every year on November 16. Also, read about the duties and structure of the Press Council of India.

Created On: Nov 16, 2021 13:31 ISTModified On: Nov 16, 2021 14:59 IST
National Press Day 2021: Know Theme, Significance and Reason for Celebration
National Press Day 2021: Know Theme, Significance and Reason for Celebration

National Press Day 2021: National Press Day is celebrated every year on 16th November as a mark to commemorate the presence of an independent and responsible press in India. The day also marks the establishment of the Press Council of India and the day it started functioning as a statutory and quasi-judicial establishment. Being the 4th Pillar of Democracy, Press and Media has a very big responsibility in helping India evolve as a vibrant and egalitarian democracy. Journalists and members of the press act as a mirror to the society and bring out the truth with no fear or favour for or against any governmental agency or private entity. Let's understand the National Press Day Significance and why it is an important day for every citizen of India.

National Press Day History

The National Press Day is celebrated across the country as a day to commemorate the setting up of the Press Council of India. The seeds of the Press Council of India were sown at the first meeting of the Press Commission in 1956. At the meeting, PCI was envisioned as an independent watchdog for the press and to protect the ethics of journalism and freedom of the press in India. After several deliberations and discussions, the Press Council of India came into being on 16th November 1966. Since then, the council has been working as an agency to monitor the quality of reportage provided by the Indian Press. 

National Press Day Theme & Programmes

The Theme for National Press Day 2021 is ‘Who is Not Afraid of Media?’ As part of the celebration, the Press Council of India will hold a function at the Constitution Club of India, New Delhi. Eminent Journalist and Author Mr Swaminathan Gurumurthy, will grace the celebration as the Guest of Honour and Keynote Speaker. 

Press Council of India – Duties and Structure

The Press Council of India was set-up under the aegis of the Press Council Act of 1978. The council enjoys a statutory and quasi-judicial establishment as an independent agency. The Council has been tasked with the duty to safeguard the independence of the press. It ensures that the Indian press is not affected by any external matter. Currently, Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad is Chairman of the Council as of 2021, who was appointed for a second term recently.

Generally, the council consists of 29 members including a Chairman. The PCI chairmanship is typically entrusted to a retired Supreme Court judge, who along with 28 members acts as the national watchdog agency for media. Of the additional 28 members of the council, 20 members are from the media, nominated by the newspapers, television channels and other media outlets operating in India. Of the rest 8 members, 5 are from Parliament i.e. Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, while three represent culture, literary and legal fields as nominees of Sahitya Academy, University Grant Commission and Bar Council of India.

Type of Members

Representative Agency

Chairman

Retired Supreme Court Judge

20 Media Members

Nominated by newspapers, television channels and other media outlets

5 Parliament Members

From Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha

1 Culture Member

Sahitya Academy

1 Literary Member

UGC – University Grants Commission

1 Legal Member

Bar Council of India

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