Accountability suffers as newspaper closures grow in SC, nation

Corruption is flourishing in the rural corners of South Carolina as newspapers fold or shrink coverage amid a financially crippling pandemic.

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. This only exacerbated a trend that has created so-called “news deserts” in hundreds of U.S. communities, depriving them of vital watchdogs of government and democracy.

...In the past five years, the state took over the county’s problem-plagued school district for the second time while three of Allendale’s public officials went to jail on embezzlement charges. All this occurred after the county lost its lone newspaper, the weekly Allendale Sun, in 2015.

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