National Press day-fourth Pillar of the society is celebrating its foundation day
KI Singh/ royalpatiala.in/ Chandigarh
Indian media has traveled a long way, from the days of newspaper and radio to present-day age of Television and Social Media. Today, India is home of many online publications including digital-only newspapers, magazines, news portals and publishing houses.
Media has played a significant role in establishing democracy throughout the world. Since the 18th century, the media has been instrumental in reaching the masses and equipping them with knowledge, especially during the American Independence movement and French Revolution. Media is considered as “Fourth Pillar” in democratic countries along with Legislature, Executive, and Judiciary, as without a free media democratic system cannot cease to exist.
The first Indian media were established in the late 18th century with the newspaper Hicky’s Bengal Gazette, founded in 1780. Auguste and Louis Lumière moving pictures were screened in Bombay during July 1895; and radio broadcasting began in 1927. Indian media—private media in particular—have been “free and independent” throughout most of their history. The period of emergency (1975–1977), declared by Prime Minister Indira Gandhi, was the brief period when India’s media were faced with potential government retribution.
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 an authority even over the instruments of the state in its duty to safeguard the independence of the press. November 16 therefore personifies a responsible and free press in the country.