Every year on November 16, National Press Day is commemorated to recognise and honour the Press Council of India (PCI). The day celebrates the existence of a free and accountable press in the nation. The Press Council of India assesses the standard of Indian press reporting and maintains oversight of journalistic activity. This year marks the 56th anniversary of the Press Council of India’s foundation since its inception in 1966.
An Independent press is frequently referred to as the voice of the powerless and a link between the oppressed and the all-powerful. It highlights the system's flaws and problems and enhances the democratic principles of the nation. A free press is also known as the fourth pillar of democracy and is the only one in which ordinary people actively engage.
The First Press Commission decided in 1956 to establish a statutory organisation with the authority to uphold journalistic ethics. The Commission believed that a governing organisation was necessary to communicate with the press community and to mediate any disputes that could arise.
The PCI was established on November 16, 1966. Since then, November 16 has been designated as National Press Day in India to honour the council's founding. The Council is typically presided over by a retired Supreme Court judge and 28 additional members, 20 of whom are representatives of Indian media organisations, according to the Press Council of India's official website. The remaining three members are from the fields of culture, law, and literature. The House of Parliament recommends five members each.