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.

Recommending the establishment of Press Council in 1956 the Ist Press Commission had concluded that the best way of maintaining professional ethics in journalism would be to bring into existence a body with statutory authority, of people principally connected with industry whose duty it would be to arbitrate. To this end the Press Council of India was established and the body that was evolved since November 16, 1966 has not belied the objective.

November 16 therefore personifies a responsible and free press in the country. All those who cherish it, so commemorate the day. The National Press Day on November 16 every year is commemorated in befitting manner by the Council. Since the year 1997 following Seminars have been organized by the Press Council on occasion of National Press Day (November 16).

Two day Seminar on November 16-17, 1997 on a) 50 years of Press in India – A Critical Review, b) Attacks on the freedom of the Press and c) Right to Information; Two day Seminar on November 16-17, 1998 on Role of Media in Crises Situations (Sub-Topics)– Constitutional Crises, Political Crises, Economic Crises, Social Crises, Security Crises and Threats to the Freedom of the Press on Internal and External; November 16,1999 “ Media and Society” (Sub-Topics)-a) Role of Media in nurturing awareness of fundamental duties among citizens b) Role of Media in preserving rich composite heritage and tradition of the country and in promoting democracy c) Media’s role in arousing popular conscience to promote peace, harmony and brotherhood transcending barriers of caste, religion and sectional interests ; November 16, 2000 on “Role of Media : Preparing People to Cope with Disasters” ; November 16, 2001 on “Projection of Women by Media in Present Day Context” & “Occupational Hazards Faced by Mediapersons in Conflict Situations: Relief and Rehabilitation Measures in Fatal Cases”; Inaugural Function and Release of Souvenir on “Future of India : Role of Media” on the eve of National Press Day on November 15, 2002.