When newspapers close, bonds among locals weaken and misdeeds can thrive


The Union Times was one of 10 papers across South Carolina that stopped printing in 2020. The year marked a record loss, at least in recent memory, said Jen Madden, co-executive director of the S.C. Press Association.

Familiar antagonists — financial stressors, professional moves and retiring overseers — threw most of them over the precipice of viability.

Their closures cut news coverage for people living in every corner of the state: Ware Shoals, Bamberg, Santee, Holly Hill, Fort Mill, Walterboro, Georgetown and Union. Two of the 10, in Gaffney and Travelers Rest, at least still provide online coverage.

The glue that is lost doesn’t only bind readers. Without journalists shining light on public officials’ actions, corruption and misdeeds can thrive. The Post and Courier has unearthed myriad examples of questionable conduct during its yearlong investigation, Uncovered.

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