On National Press Day, PM lauds media for helping spread Covid-19 awareness

New Delhi (NVI): On the occasion of National Press Day, Prime Minister Narendra Modi today said the media has been doing exceptional service by spreading awareness against COVID-19 and has acted as a valuable stakeholder in helping the government in its initiatives.

The Prime Minister added in his written message on the day being celebrated virtually with a webinar organised by the Press Council of India, “Be it positive criticism or highlighting success stories, the media has been continuously adding strength to India’s democratic ethos.”

“From creating mass awareness about important issues to contributing to a behavioural change in society for the larger good, we have seen how the media as a valued stakeholder has furthered the efforts of the government and helped many initiatives like Swachh Bharat and water conservation grow into mass movements in the last few years,” he said.

In his message, Modi said he was heartened to learn that the Council was celebrating the day.

The webinar being held on the theme ‘Role of media during the COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on the media’ with participants from several other countries also reflects the “enabling power of technology , he said.

The prime minister added that at a time the world is up against an unprecedented crisis in the form of COVID-19, the nation’s fight against the pandemic is powered by the restraint and resolve of its 130 crore citizens. In such a scenario, the media has been continuously doing exceptional service by spreading awareness against the COVID pandemic.

The Press Council of India (PCI) was instituted on November 16, 1966, to monitor the quality of reportage provided by the Indian press.

November 16 is observed to acknowledge and honor the Press Council of India, a statutory and quasi-judicial establishment.

PCI acts as a moral watchdog in ensuring that Indian journalists are not driven by any influence or external factors.

The First Press Commission 1956 envisioned a committee to protect the ethics of journalism and freedom of the press in India. It led to the formation of a Press Council 10 years later. Press Council of India monitors all journalistic activities to keep the credibility intact.

Justice Chandramauli Kumar Prasad is the present chairman of the Press Council of India. He has been appointed for a second term. He succeeded Justice Markandey Katju (2011 2014) to become the chairman of the council.

Home Minister Amit Shah also greeted journalists on the day. The Narendra Modi government is committed towards freedom of press and strongly opposes those who throttle it, he said.

-CHK