Helen Martin: The internet’s impact on journalism

Presenters Ewen Cameron, Hayley Matthews, Jennifer Reoch and David Farrell at the launch of the STV2 channel.
Presenters Ewen Cameron, Hayley Matthews, Jennifer Reoch and David Farrell at the launch of the STV2 channel.
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It is no secret that the digital world has had a devastating effect on print media. But, as we in Scotland now know, that effect is not confined only to print.

Who (apart from afternoon fans of classic old movies) ever watched STV2?

Its closure is not surprising. As a relatively small country, Scotland has its main STV station, and its partial branch of the BBC. With people now having access to Sky News, Fox, CNN, RT, and alternative online news sources, there is vast competition.

READ MORE: STV confirms channel closure and job losses

Even for popular, peak TV series, viewing figures are a fraction of what they might have been 20 years ago. There are often better things to download.

Of course, commercial STV’s biggest direct competitor is the BBC, funded by the government via compulsory taxation. No commercial channel can beat that financially. Yet polled UK viewers put the BBC at the lowest rating (37 per cent) for political neutrality and, just behind RT, rated it the most biased.

For Scotland’s democracy, we have to hope plans for STV to axe dozens of journalistic and production staff fall through.

READ MORE: Why STV2 failed and what it means for broadcasting in Scotland