WASHINGTON, June 19 – Concern about the future of the media, particularly newspapers, pervaded a Thursday forum on antitrust issues hosted by the American Antitrust Institute as part of the institute's 10th year anniversary conference.
The availability of many sources of information through the Internet has allowed news consumers to rely no longer on a single source of information, jeopardizing the future of newspapers and radio stations, panelists agreed.
Jonathan Sallet, a partner at the consultantcy Glover Park Group, said that new media is taking market share from the old media. But he argued that the government should not be engaged in defining what good journalism is or is not.
Tasneem Chipty, vice president of the consultancy CRA International, said that readers perceived inadequacies in newspapers that rely on only one source in news reports. She also said that since the 1990s, advertising sales have decreased dramatically.
Quality of coverage is no longer determined by the size of the newspaper, added Jaret Seiberg, senior vice president covering financial services and antitrust policy for Stanford Group's policy research. Big city newspapers could have only one person covering the technology beat whereas a small, local newspaper may have two or three people on the subject – thus providing a wider variety of stories.
“Why do we care more about media than soda pop,” questioned Seiberg. “Because it reports on government, it’s supposed to be this great check and balance system.”