Who would have predicted in January that the News of the World would have closed down within months?
Could anyone imagine politicians scurrying to distance themselves from Rupert and James Murdoch after years of currying favour?
The phone-hacking saga started as a small hole and has gradually become a vast post-volcanic crater as The Guardian, the Parliamentary Select Committee and The Leveson enquiry all dig and unearth bigger stories of unethical media behaviour.
The year is ending but the story will roll on into 2012, no doubt revealing more acts of deceit, all due to the efforts of journalists and editors desperate to progress their careers or hang on to their jobs under the ruthless pressure to sell more papers.
The latest testimony from James Hipwell at the Leveson enquiry strongly suggests that evidence or corroborated stories that phone hacking was carried out by journalists at publications other than Murdoch titles may come to light soon.
There may be plenty more to come in 2012.
So what impact will this have? Already Max Clifford reports that papers are more wary of stories – so fewer celebrity scandal scoops. Some are predicting that Hello! OK and the other magazines that feed the hunger for ‘news’ of so called ‘celebrities’ will soon be publishing 100 per cent PR approved ‘puff’ stories.
Will privacy regulations be introduced? Will Press lose the right to self-regulation and come under an OfCom like body? What would that do, for instance, to the world of press photographers?
The potential consequences of these enquiries for the media and all of us who work with them are vast.
We live in exciting times.