SunstarTV Bureau: National Press Day – 16th of November – is epitome of a free and responsible press in India. But India ranked 142 out of 180 countries in World Press Freedom Index 2020.
Commemorating the day does not give India a free hand in press freedom, though. India still lags behind a mile to give its press the freedom of functioning it deserves.
Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has took to twitter to greet the fourth pillar of the democracy on the event of National Press Day. He has mentioned,” A vigilant and free press is the key to an informed society and vibrant democracy.”
Warm greetings to journalists and media persons on #NationalPressDay. A vigilant and free press is the key to an informed society and vibrant democracy. Let us pledge to make the fourth pillar free, fair and independent to speak the truth. pic.twitter.com/jnvmZSpg7m
— Naveen Patnaik (@Naveen_Odisha) November 16, 2020
The World Press Freedom Index is an annual ranking of countries on the basis of press freedom to news organisations, journalists, and netizens in the country.
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 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 an authority even over the instruments of the state in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press.
Recommending the establishment of Press Council in 1956 the 1st 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 was evolved since November 16, 1966 has not belied the objective.
November 16 therefore personifies a responsible and free press in the country. All those who cherish it, so commemorate the day. The National Press Day on November 16 every year is commemorated in befitting manner by the Council. Since the year 1997 following Seminars have been organized by the Press Council on occasion of National Press Day (November 16).