“I’d like them to look at the number of child deaths in South Carolina while children are under the Department of Social Services’ watch,” she said. “I would like them to look at the time it takes for Social Services to respond to a case.”

At least one national media outlet might already being doing that. Shealy and others said staffers from a well-known national nightly news program have been in the state for weeks conducting interviews.

Laura Hudson, director of the South Carolina Crime Victims’ Council and a member of the state’s Child Safety Advisory Committee, says she did some interviews with that national news outlet last week.

“I hope it goes beyond the politics,” she said of any national news segment that might come out of it, echoing something I’ve heard from other child advocates watching the drama unfold here. Governor Haley is in a bitter re-match with a Democratic state senator who, along with the state Democratic Party and Democratic Governors Association, has been advancing a message that Haley is inept at handling her cabinet agencies, like DSS.

“To me, it’s a question of what are we doing for children and what can we do to improve our situation rather than finding fault and pointing fingers,” Hudson says.

Inside South Carolina, broadcasters and newspapers have been looking into those complex, troubling questions beyond a click-baity feud on Facebook. Anyone else?

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Corey Hutchins is CJR's Rocky Mountain correspondent based in Colorado. A former alt-weekly reporter in the Palmetto State, he was twice named journalist of the year in the weekly division by the SC Press Association. Hutchins worked on the State Integrity Investigation at the Center for Public Integrity and he has contributed to Slate, The Nation, The Texas Observer, and others. Follow him on Twitter @coreyhutchins or email him at coreyhutchins@gmail.com.