It’s been the year of the troubled television presenter, starting with Philip Schofield in May when he admitted lying about an extra-marital affair with a young man more than 30 years his junior.

In July, the BBC suspended one of their biggest names, Huw Edwards, following allegations in The Sun newspaper from the family of a young man, although it’s claimed nothing illegal took place and Edwards denies the allegations.

In Ireland, two of our well-known broadcasting figures have also been in the news, though it has to be emphasised not for any of the type of behaviour linked to Schofield and Edwards.

When Ryan Tubridy’s arrangements for being paid by RTÉ emerged, in which he was paid far more than was being properly revealed, it produced a backlash among Irish consumers with a big increase in people refusing to renew their licence.

Here in the North, the Irish News has reported on the links with a betting company of radio and television presenter Stephen Nolan’s private company, and as ever the controversial Nolan faces criticism for his style of broadcasting and the amount he earns from the BBC.

Neither Tubridy nor Nolan have done anything wrong legally.

The four men, all men, earn huge sums of money from 400K upwards. Are they worth it?

It’s a valid question, particularly those paid out of the public purse from licence fees, and you can decide for yourself.

I don’t think they are, personally, and I wonder why those making decisions about spending public money use a commercial market strategy without consequences.

But while the public love to focus attention on personalities and their incomes, that’s not even half the story. What we need to focus on is the state of broadcasting today.

I think the future of public service broadcasting matters; but it’s not about individuals or money, it should be about an ethos, an understanding of its intrinsic value to society and about the ties that bind.

Yet, it’s no exaggeration to say that both the BBC and RTÉ face an existential crisis and we need to consider what the future is for public service broadcasting (PSB).

With Netflix now just one of a plethora of streaming services, people are making very different choices about how and when they watch television these days; gone are the times when the family, indeed everyone, gathered round at the same time to watch programmes on a few limited terrestrial channels.

However, many people still rely on BBC, ITV, Channels Four and Five and RTÉ for their viewing, perhaps for financial reasons; and for them and for other community cohesion reasons, good PSB is still desirable.

If you were forking out for all the streaming services, then Netflix, Amazon Prime, Disney+, Apple TV, Paramount , etc ¬– the total cost of subscriptions would set you back.

There are indications of problems with the streaming model, too, with fewer subscriptions meaning less money for content.

And that’s not including sport on Sky or BT Sport, now rebranded TNT.

The problem, as I see it, is that the quality of PSB is going downhill; to be honest, some of it is pure dross, and people are switching off in droves.

Whatever happened to the Reithian BBC mission to “inform, educate and entertain”.

People, like me, who enjoy television at weekends have limited choice. On a typical weekend, I watch a lot of sport, which I choose to pay for, in addition to selecting entertainment from a streaming service and precious little from the “traditional” terrestrial channels.

It would be totally wrong of me to say “there’s nothing on” at all; I enjoy lots of telly, such as documentaries.

And as far as drama is concerned, there are numerous series on terrestrial channels worth watching; RTÉ do it well with the Dublin crime gang series ‘Kin’ or ‘Smother’, and the recent BBC four-parter ‘The Sixth Commandment’ was absolute quality with the acting performances of Timothy Spall and Anne Reid outstanding.

After an absorbing first episode, I did find myself watching all four episodes on iPlayer in a couple of days, rather than waiting for it on successive weeks; partly, I suppose, because as well as not wanting to wait, there was also little else on to attract me.

There’s still quality, but it’s simply spread too thin.

As regards news and current affairs, the whole media landscape has changed with many channels showing a blatant right-wing bias, leaving traditional news channels struggling to cope, especially with this Tory Government meddling with the BBC.

I find Laura Kuenssberg on a Sunday morning unwatchable.

One of the worrying factors in the diminution of quality is reduction in funding, whether advertising or the licence fee being effectively reduced because it hasn’t kept pace with inflation.

But I always have a wry smile when I read that the BBC is struggling for resources. In Northern Ireland, for example, they have well over 600 employees and dominate the media landscape.

Yet, the less-resourced UTV Live at Six (which also has a PSB remit) gets better ratings than its BBC counterpart, while Cool FM has outperformed Radio Ulster.

Local newspapers have been struggling for resources for some time, with the resultant fall in circulation, so we know all about that challenge; but the key is the best use of those limited resources.

So, there are serious questions of accountability for BBC NI management in how they’re running what appears to the rest of us in the media to be a bloated organisation.

They’re fortunate to still have so many top-quality journalists and programme producers in other areas which can sometimes disguise, at least a little, management shortcomings.

One example this week that I particularly enjoyed was the Red Lines podcast in which Mark Carruthers interviewed Joe Brolly.

I also know of previous BBC NI management people who ran the Corporation with great vision and passion.

So how did today’s management get away with the disgraceful treatment of the people of Derry in the Radio Foyle debacle, while still pumping bucketloads of cash into Nolan productions?

How did they manage to lose so many key and experienced Northern Ireland journalists?

Was a huge saving on their salaries a factor when replacing them with more junior and inexperienced staff?

What are their responses to the questions raised by the Donna Traynor tribunal, not least the legal fees and the allegations about the culture within the BBC which went unanswered when the case was settled?

What is happening with the investigative work in Spotlight?

Does BBC NI really reflect a changing Northern Ireland society?

I think there’s a parallel with the NHS – an organisation formed in 1948 to provide a vital service to society which is now bogged down in political ideological interference, a lack of funding and a poor management culture which is letting down not only the public, but its marvellous frontline staff.

It’s the same with the BBC; the same factors are letting down the staff as well as a public which needs a deserves a quality and accountable public service broadcaster, perhaps more now than ever.

The digital and social media age is among changes in society which is proving extremely challenging, but there are surely still some traditional broadcasting values that can still benefit communities.