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National Journalism Day 2023: Day, history and significance

National Journalism Day, celebrated on November 16th, honors the Press Council of India (PCI) established in 1966. PCI safeguards journalistic integrity, monitors activities, and promotes a free press

National Journalism Day 2023: Day, history and significance ATG
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First Published Nov 16, 2023, 7:00 AM IST

National Journalism Day is celebrated annually on November 16th to honor the establishment of the Press Council of India (PCI), a significant institution that plays a pivotal role in upholding the principles of journalism and ensuring the freedom of the press. The PCI was founded on November 16, 1966, a historic event that is commemorated each year as National Journalism Day.

The roots of the Press Council of India can be traced back to the First Press Commission in 1956, which recognized the need for a dedicated body with statutory authority to oversee and maintain the ethical standards of journalism. The commission believed that such a body would not only keep the press connected with the masses but also serve as an impartial entity to arbitrate and pass judgment on issues of national importance.

The PCI, established a decade later, operates with the crucial responsibility of regulating, checking, and monitoring all journalistic activities across the country. It is committed to ensuring the quality of reportage and safeguarding the independence of journalism, thereby contributing to the flourishing of a free and responsible press in India.

The significance of National Journalism Day lies in its acknowledgment of the vital role played by the Press Council of India as the guardian of the fourth pillar of democracy—the free press. The PCI strives to protect the credibility of journalism, prevent external influences on journalists' work, and foster an environment where freedom of speech and expression can thrive.

Celebrations on National Journalism Day often include seminars organized by the PCI. These seminars cover a range of topics, including the Right to Information (RTI) Act, the role of media in crisis situations, the media's contribution to nurturing awareness of Fundamental Duties among citizens, and its role in preparing people to cope with disasters. These seminars, held for one or two days, aim to educate the public about the critical importance of a free and responsible press in the country.

National Journalism Day serves as a tribute to the Press Council of India and its commitment to upholding the principles of journalism, preserving the integrity of the press, and safeguarding the democratic values of the nation. The annual celebrations through seminars contribute to raising awareness about the indispensable role of journalism in a democratic society and the potential consequences if a nation lacks a robust and independent press.

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