PRINCELY concerns are not something most of us share. However, last week, Prince Harry revealed home truths about the state of the media in this country that ought to make editors squirm. And give the rest of us pause for thought.

(Of course, none of what follows applies to this esteemed organ or its sister paper) Prince Harry said: “Democracy fails when your press fails to scrutinise and hold the ­Government accountable. Our country is judged globally by the state of our press and our ­Government – both of which are at rock ­bottom.

“There are now powerful media companies who masquerade as journalists and who have highjacked journalistic privileges for their own personal gain. They claim to hold public ­figures to account but refuse to hold themselves ­accountable.”

If you did not read this anywhere or hear it on the news, then his point is made.

READ MORE: John Drummond: Britain is becoming increasingly nasty and brutish

It is unlikely many editors will actually pay much heed because they are so deeply ­committed to the values of the red-top tabloids. Nonetheless, the more astute may be casting a nervous glance at what just happened at the Telegraph group, who are also publishers of the right-wing Spectator.

These publications are now in receivership. They are up for sale. The owners can no ­longer service their massive loans. Few who have watched the way these organs have treated the less fortunate in society will have much ­sympathy.

However, it is a mistake to regard these ills simply as evidence of mismanagement. There are larger forces at work. Take simple ­demographics. Fewer and fewer young people read newspapers and even fewer buy them. The trajectory is plain. If they can’t replace readers that have shuffled off their mortal coil, then they are doomed.

Worse, more advertisers are moving to social media. It’s often cheaper and certainly offers better targeting. Advertising costs will likely fall further as AI (Artificial Intelligence) makes a greater impact. Even now it is possible to ­promote products and services at less cost.

There is another factor. Customers like fair treatment and ethical behaviour. Who wants to buy from crooks? Most of us yearn for a more honest world. So far, this has been denied us, as media standards sank lower and lower. Now, I am not saying the appetite for “it bleeds, it leads” and sensationalism will disappear. But it will be met otherwise.

Meanwhile, this means there will be an ­increasing space for discussing and dealing with moral concerns. AI will also enable people who have reservations about the way society is run to involve others who share their views.

Activism will increase and old-style political ­campaigning will be a thing of the past. Why spend hours leafleting if greater impact can be secured with one posting on social media, at minimal cost?

When behaviour, including political acts, is scrutinised as never before, there will be ­winners and losers. Media outlets with low ­ethics will ­suffer most. As narrowcasting ­becomes more widespread, the cost of ­assembling news through conventional ­broadcasting becomes ­unwieldy as well as uneconomic.

There will still be ­broadcasters, but these will live or die on ­perceived ethical conduct. With AI it will soon be possible to take apart every ­broadcast at pace, monitor audience reaction ­speedily, and ­disseminate factual coverage almost ­instantaneously. In other words, a hugely ­efficient and effective rapid reply process.

Many conventional news outlets face a rapid decline. Why use immensely expensive ­resources in the form of staff and buildings when hugely cheaper, and more accurate, ­alternatives are available? With few exceptions, broadcasting is in a death spiral. Narrowcasting will triumph.

A more rapid demise might be in store for BBC Scotland news. It will still be run from London but funded less and less from Scotland. This is unsustainable. Even for propaganda ­purposes. BBC bosses, largely uninterested in much ­outside London, are looking for more savings. These will come, predictably, from the fringes, not the centre. That’s how bureaucracies work. For the moment, folks closest to the boss are safe, while others are much more vulnerable.

Want proof? Last week, 1000 of its staff were on strike, protesting BBC cuts to local radio services in England. MPs are furious, saying: “Treating your journalists, producers and other staff in this way seems a bizarre way to mark 100 years of the BBC.”

Soon there will be a rush for the exits at ­Pacific Quay. It is unclear how many of the present ­incumbents will find a roost elsewhere – and certainly not at present salaries and ­conditions.

Few will mourn their passing. Luckily there’s a growing list of antidotes to BBC Scotland news – and you can follow many of them on ­IndyLive.

The TNT show is taking a short summer break. We will return on Wednesday, July 26.