|Newspapers in Holly Hill and Santee, S.C., have been among|
those that have closed in rural areas of the Palmetto State.
(Photo by Andrew J. Whitaker, The Post and Courier)
"Seven of our state’s newspapers closed their doors in the past year, joining more than 60 that shuttered across the nation as the coronavirus strangled an industry already battered by shrinking revenue and draining job cuts," Smith and Bartelme report. "The losses hit hardest in the vast rural stretches of the Palmetto State."
|Allendale County (Wikipedia map)|
Rural papers aren't known for investigations. They still discourage corruption, said experts such as Chief Mark Keel of the State Law Enforcement Division told the Post and Courier, which reports:
The Post and Courier's stories offer many examples from South Carolina but one takes a broader look, quoting Al Cross, director of the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues, publisher of The Rural Blog: “We’re in a crisis in local journalism in this country, and it was a crisis before the pandemic came along.” He says just covering government meetings isn't enough: “Covering a meeting is like sitting in a train station and watching trains pick up and let off passengers,” Cross said. “You might have some idea what is going on, but you don’t really know unless you get on that train, ride it and ask questions.”