“National Press Day” – Commemorating Freedom Of Disseminating Public Opinion & Expression

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Representational Image; Source : iStock

 

  • NET Web Desk

A powerful medium of the mass communication, press helps to build a strong viable society, thereby highlighting the power of public opinion & propagating ideas, opinions of the citizens and publishing them for further outreach.

Observed on November 16 every year, ‘National Press Day’ basically emphasizes the establishment of the Press Council of India (PCI) in 1966. Considered as a mechanism to regulate the functioning and activities of press in the nation, PCI safeguards the freedom of Press and its expression.

The basic concept of self-regulation, an aspect followed by Press Council was basically articulated by Mahatma Gandhi – an eminent journalist. The freedom fighter always believed that “The sole aim of journalist should be service. The newspaper press is a great power, but just as unchained torrent of water submerges the whole country side and devastates crops, even so an uncontrolled pen serves but to destroy. If the control is from without, it proves more poisonous than want of control. It can be profitable only when exercised from within.”

The Press Council of India ensures that press maintains the high standards of public taste, and fostering due sense of both the rights and responsibilities of citizenship, and encouraging the sense of responsibility and public service among all those engaged in the profession of journalism.

It aims to review and take stock of the developments which is believed to restrict the supply and dissemination associated with news of public interest and importance.

The Press Council of India was first constituted on July 4, 1966 as an autonomous, statutory, quasi-judicial body, with Shri Justice J R Mudholkar, then a Judge of the Supreme Court, as Chairman – a council to help newspapers maintain their independence and disseminate information related to public interest and depicting social importance.

Today when the entire globe is flooded with dissemination of fake news, and stories inciting communal violence, impacting the unity & solidarity maintained by communities, the Press Council of India (PCI) have been striving to reach out to the mass and stakeholders with stories and information which can transform the “global narrative of news” articulated by Mahatma Gandhi into a fact.