Press Council of India chairman Justice (retd) C K Prasad today said media should not have a "cordial relationship" with the government.
He also underlined the need for a code of conduct for media.
"You people are crusaders of trust….You are bound to come into conflict with the government and the authorities. I am of the opinion that if there is no conflict between journalists and government, that day perhaps will be the saddest day for the democracy," Justice Prasad said, addressing a seminar here.
"I request the media fraternity to be in conflict. I oppose the idea of a cordial relationship between media, authorities and government. So as long as `Ram Rajya' is not established, there has to be conflict," he said.
He also said lack of code of conduct makes journalists "vulnerable" and the media fraternity should review its opposition to the concept.
"If there is no code, no statutory guidelines….You are more vulnerable. You are exposed to the whims and fancies of others. If it is codified you will know what the legal position is. What is misconduct and what is not," Prasad said.
The PCI chairman also advised the scribes not to use their profession to indulge in corruption or shield their own wrongdoing.
Prasad also cited an example of misreporting. Referring to an alleged anti-Dalit comment by a Union Minister, he said when PCI examined the issue, it found that the minister's statement had been "misconstrued" by the media.
The contract system under which journalists work these days does not help the profession, he opined.