Newdelhi:16/11/22:The Press Council of India celebrated the National Press Day on the theme “The Media’s Role in Nation Building” at SCOPE convention centre in New Delhi today. The Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur was the chief guest at the event and released the “Norms of Journalistic Conduct, 2022”. Celebrating Azadi Ka Amrit Mahotsav marking 75th year of India’s independence, the dignitaries deliberated on the topic ‘the Role of Media in Nation Building’ to appreciate, analyse and ascertain the plausible ways that may pave the way towards preserving the standards of Indian media which is celebrated as the fourth pillar of the Democracy.
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National Press Day – the 16th of November – is symbolic of a free and responsible press in India. 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 authority even over the instruments of the State in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press.
Delivering the inaugural address, the Union Minister of Information & Broadcasting, Youth Affairs and Sports, Shri Anurag Singh Thakur begin by complimenting Shri Swapan Dasgupta for his erudite views, expressed eloquently, on the theme of today’s deliberations – “The Media’s Role in Nation Building”. The Union Minister stated “This is a solemn occasion to pay our humble tribute to stalwarts who made the Press a powerful voice and a worthy Fourth Pillar of our democracy.” He further added “The intimate involvement of towering leaders of our struggle for independence with the Press propelled them to ensure Freedom of the Press was enshrined through constitutional provisions. The birth of the Press Council of India came much later, but the impulse was the same: To ensure democracy is safeguarded and strengthened.”
The Minister of State for Information & Broadcasting, Fisheries, Animal Husbandry & Dairying, Dr. L. Murugan addressing the gathering said “November 16th is a symbolic day when Press Council of India started working to ensure the highest standards of Journalism with freedom and responsibility without any fear or favour. Emergency was dark days for press and we cannot forget that those who wrote against the government were kept in jail for years. Calling the media voice of the voiceless, Dr. Murugan said “press is the 4th pillar of democracy and it is not just news but it also ensures that the government policies and schemes reach the intended beneficiaries”. He further said that “we have entered the “Amrit kaal” and are marching fast towards becoming a progressive and prosperous nation and the government is working together with all with the aim to make India a developed nation.
Shri Swapan Dasgupta said “the internet and the social media has changed the entire media landscape. Mainstream media, such as the newspaper and television, have seen a significant decline all over the world. Globally, that has fallen by as much as 11%. Mainstream media no longer has the monopoly of providing news. Shri Dasgupta further said “niche journalism is on the rise and people are looking for news such as health, science, medicine, sports other than politics dominating the mainstream media. He said the digital media crosses national boundaries. “As India’s strategic footprint, including commercial and economic footprint, increases across the world, unless we can complement that with the media Made in India, based in India’, carrying Indian values which can take it forward, we would be somewhere lacking in our entire quality of that approach,” Shri Dasgupta added.