Here's Part IV of our report card of how we did with our 2012 predictions.
Ongoing stories we’ll see covered in the
The 2012 election, healthcare, taxes and tax reform, and job
creation. The candidates, the process,
the election as horse race, Super PACs, the strength and weakness of the Tea
Party and the Occupy Wall St. movement (as well as the 99% vs. the 1%), and
sometimes the actual issues. Grade: A
– of course this was a gimme but it would have been odd to leave this one out.
The euro and euro zone economies and the debt crisis --
particularly troubled Greece and Italy and stable Germany and France -- and the
impact of all of this on the US economy. Grade:
B because while the EU economy did generate U.S.-based coverage, it was not
as big a story in 2012 as it was in 2011.
Facebook’s IPO and its implications for the rest of the social
media sector. Grade: A- because we
did not predict that it’s IPO would be flawed.
The battle between Facebook v. Google+. (Interestingly, Twitter won’t
be considered even an also-ran in this story.) Grade: B- because Google+ has not competed effectively with
The battle between huge companies. Apple v. Google v. Microsoft.
Oracle v. Everyone Else. Grade: B+
because we did not mention Apple v. Samsung.
The state of the media – because the media love reporting on their
competitors as well as themselves. Grade:
C because this was basically a non-story in 2012.
Online privacy will continue to be an important story. Grade: B, which would have been higher
if we had linked online privacy with Facebook’s changing privacy policies.
Sample New York Times article: “Facebook Changes
Privacy Settings, Again.”
Online reviews – specifically whether they are from real customers
who have bought the product or whether they are positive phony reviews paid to
counteract real negative reviews – will generate coverage. Grade:
B- because while this generated some attention (like in a Mr. Know-It-All
column in December’s Wired), this was not a big story.
The economics and environmental impact of fracking, an efficient
but controversial way to extract oil and natural gas from shale. We expect
climate science and global warming to be issues during the general election,
specifically when discussing regulations. Grade:
Net-specific issues such as net neutrality (the need to prevent
broadband providers from blocking access to competitors), the e-tax loophole
(in which e-retailers don’t require customers to pay sales tax, which gives
Amazon and others an advantage over bricks-and-mortar retailers that do charge
customers sales tax), and anti-piracy legislation (Stop Online Piracy Act aka
SOPA and Protect Intellectual Property Act aka PIPA). Grade: B+/A-. Sample Wall St. Journal article: “Cybersecurity Bills Duel Over Rules for Firms”;
sample New York Times article: “Security Bills
Bruised by Lingering Fight.”
One story not likely to be covered for most of 2012: Tim Tebow.
Not that his 15 minutes is up. Expect the media to regain its interest with the
start of the next NFL season. Grade: C-
because Tebow continued to generate media attention, though not at the level of
We'll issue more grades in tomorrow's post.
In the meantime, let us know if you have any questions or comments.