National Press Day 2022: Every year on November 16, National Press Day is observed to recognize and honor the Press Council of India (PCI). The day commemorates the presence of a free and responsible press in the country. The Press Council of India also examines the quality of Indian press reporting and monitors journalistic activities.
National Press Day: Significance of Press Freedom
The Importance of Press Freedom on National Press Freedom Day
The independent press is often referred to as the voice of the voiceless, serving as a link between the all-powerful rulers and the oppressed ruled. It exposes the system’s flaws and assists the government in finding solutions, thereby strengthening the values of the democratic system of governance.
National Press Day: History
The First Press Commission decided in 1956 to establish a statutory body with the responsibility of upholding journalistic ethics. The Commission believed that a governing body was required in order to communicate with members of the press and resolve any issues that arose.
“Freedom of the press is a precious privilege that no country can forego.”
— Mahatma Gandhi
On #NationalPressDay, extend best wishes to members of the Press & Media.
Media is the protector & enabler of democratic institutions and this onerous task entails – no fear, no favour. pic.twitter.com/tb206NSdTL
— Mallikarjun Kharge (@kharge) November 16, 2022
The PCI was founded on November 16, 1966. Since then, November 16 has been designated as National Press Day in India to commemorate the establishment of the council.
According to the official website of the Press Council of India, the council is traditionally chaired by a retired Supreme Court Judge and 28 additional members, 20 of whom are members of Indian media outlets. The Houses of Parliament nominates five members, with the remaining three representing cultural, legal, and literary fields.
India has the highest number of journalists murdered for their work: CPJ report
According to the latest ‘Prison Census’ from the New York-based Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ), 293 journalists were imprisoned worldwide in 2021, a new high compared to a revised total of 280 in 2020. According to the census, at least 24 people were “murdered,” while 18 others died in “circumstances too murky to determine whether they were specific targets.”
According to a report by the media watchdog Reporters Without Borders, India is among the top five most dangerous countries for journalists this year.
According to the report, in 2021, 46 journalists were killed in the course of their work this year. Mexico had the highest number of fatalities, with seven, followed by Afghanistan with six, Yemen and India with four each, and Pakistan with three.
Asia has proven to be the most dangerous continent for journalists, with more than 109 journalists killed in the last five years.
According to Reporters Without Borders, approx 488 journalists have been detained around the world this year. This is the highest number of media professionals detained in a single year since the organization began keeping track in 1995.