With a turn toward commerce, Microsoft’s online city guide places marketing above journalism
This column appeared in the November 1998 issue of The American Journalism Review.
Remember those apocalyptic headlines two years ago, the ones predicting that plague and pestilence would be visited upon all that journalism holds sacred because of Microsoft’s emergence as a media player?
As it turned out, toads did not rain from the sky.
Such fears always struck me as wildly overblown. And today, MSNBC and Slate notwithstanding, it should be clear from its online actions that Microsoft is positioning itself as an Internet transaction center — but has no appetite to reinvent itself as a media company.