Willie O’Reilly: Expect the unexpected in a new year of promise

In 2021, I predict tighter regulation of online media, a big rise in advertising spend – and unforeseen developments at every turn

Nobody predicted the wholesale disruption of 2020, so making predictions about 2021 is fraught with hazard. Picture: Getty

The first column of 2021? Look forward with optimism, the editor said. It’s a new year, a clean slate, no one really knows what lies ahead. Take a punt – that was the message.

Fair enough, but most “punts” at the beginning of 2020 were disastrously wrong. After all, most journalists thought that Brexit would dominate the year’s headlines. How right were they?

I thought that 5G would be a game-changer. I thought its fast ...