Gangtok, 17 November: The media fraternity in Sikkim had observed the National Press Day, function organized by Information and Public Relation Department of Sikkim on Friday with ''Media as Peoples' Voice- Pre and Post Independence'' as the theme of the year. National Press Day, November 16, 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. Chief Minister Pawan Chamling announced a free medical benefit for journalists and a free journalism-training course for young journalists to be provided by the state government. In this function under the Positive Journalism Grant which was introduced by state government since 2003-04 five local journalists were awarded Rs. 10000/- each in order to encourage journalism in the state.