2022 media predictions: Were they right?

One year ago, we asked global journalists, media executives, columnists, commentators, and media critics, from the US and around the world, for their perspectives on what will make—and what should make—news headlines in 2022. The events that have unfolded over the past year have been extraordinary and might even feel like a cluster of earthquakes that is reshaping our world, write Chris Bradley, Jeongmin Seong, Sven Smit, and Jonathan Woetzel in the McKinsey Global Institute’s On a cusp of a new era?. Could these media leaders have predicted what was to come? Here are six of the many responses we received that hit the mark, along with McKinsey insights that touch on the most pressing topics of the year. Revisit the full experience for more predictions before you speculate about what’s next.

1.    Marcus Brauchli, managing partner, North Base Media: “My prediction is twofold. The overarching story that will reverberate through coverage will be the macro story—inflation, interest rates, monetary and fiscal responses and the markets. The micro story that looks likely to gain traction centers on the big tech platforms. Will Europe or some other major powers start to impose regulations that alter [their] trajectory?”

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McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2022

2.    Valérie Arnould, deputy director, digital revenue network, World Association of News Publishers: “Battles over climate change policy and implementation of agreements will dominate national and international news agendas in 2022. This, of course, encompasses so much. After so many years of discussion, we may see a revolutionary breakthrough in corporate social responsibility and the consideration of environmental, social, and governance criteria to rate companies’ performance, conduct, and future strategy.”

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3.    Sara Lomax-Reese, president and CEO, WURD Radio: “I think that the empowerment of workers who are demanding higher pay and better working conditions will continue to disrupt the conventional work world. Prioritizing work–life balance across all industries including those that have typically been hostile or predatory to their workforce will impact the economy in fundamental ways. How will certain industries adapt in a world where people don’t want to show up to a job anymore? This will especially affect younger workers who are entering a pandemic job market that is like no other. I think there are also race, gender, and class implications with these shifts as well.”

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Women in the Workplace 2022

4.    Brooke Masters, US investment and industries editor, Financial Times: “Next year’s news will be dominated by the impact of inflation caused by supply-chain bottlenecks, labor shortages, and high energy prices. Central banks will continue to struggle with how to rein it in without choking off growth, governments will wrestle with how to address these problems without exacerbating inequality or slowing the transition to renewables, and companies and consumers will be having to choose more carefully where to spend their money.”

Global Energy Perspective 2022

How inflation is flipping the economic script, in seven charts

5.    Dan Roth, editor in chief and VP, LinkedIn: “… [There’s also] the rise of mental-health awareness. For a long time, I had a pretty good handle on what kind of content would do well on LinkedIn. The pandemic changed the conversation. Professionals started talking about topics that they once shied away from in a work setting, particularly equity and mental health.”

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6.    Durga Raghunath, digital head, Times of India: “In India, the geography that I can speak to, markets and entrepreneurship will get the record front-page coverage they deserve. Against the China backdrop, India as a favorable investment destination will likely also find place in CEO-speak and policy coverage on the whole.”

India Ahead