Kingston Wire: A Return To Traditional Journalism

A photo of the city of Kingston on the Kingston Wire's kickstarter.

Kingston Wire is a new digital publication aiming to strictly cover the City of Kingston. The publication intends to have readers pay 25 cents per article or $55 per year. 

The newsroom of Kingston Wire consists of managing editor Dan Barton, who is a New Paltz alumnus and has been an editor on multiple newspapers in the Hudson Valley since 1997. Their Senior Correspondent Jesse Smith who started covering the Hudson Valley as a journalist for the Daily Freeman in 2002.

“My main goal is to keep that content stream constantly updated with quality news,” Smith said. “It’s very fast paced. Our main competition is the Daily Freeman. We’re kind of looking at them and seeing: can we get things out there quicker? One of the things I personally want to try and accomplish is enterprise reporting.”

Smith says enterprising reporting is information that isn’t shared to reporters through press releases or a public meeting, but rather discovered by taking action, such as going out and picking up a story that isn’t being publicized or pushed in the mainstream media.

“I see an opportunity to have the freedom to do some enterprise reporting,” Smith said. “I’m hoping that’s how I’ll be able to compensate for the fact that when [competitors] have two reporters covering [an event], I just have me.”

The publication was launched in September 2020 with support from: the Shawangunk Journal, a newspaper based in Ellenville, New York, NewsAtomic and Radio Kingston. 

The manager for the Kingston Wire is Amberly Jane Campbell, a journalist originally from Highland, New York and the current publisher of the Shawangunk Journal. The publisher for the Kingston Wire is Alex Shiffer, a co-owner of Electric Valley Media and the Shawangunk Journal and co-designer of NewsAtomic, a publishing platform in the Hudson Valley.

Just like traditional newspapers, the Kingston Wire will also cover news pertaining to Kingston, New York. The Kingston Wire is currently focusing on covering crime and police in the City of Kingston.

“When the Kingston Police Department puts out a press release about a crime that occured, or an arrest, we’ll cover that,” Smith said. “We’re also going to take a look at the bigger pictures issues, [like] this police reform board that’s forming. We will be sitting on that.”

While the Kingston Wire is a new publication, Smith is a veteran reporter who spent 18 years covering the City of Kingston, giving him valuable insight on his reporting.

“I’ve watched the development of an activist movement, I’ve watched the rising concern of gentrification. 10 [or] 12 years ago, a former police chief actually wrote a policy paper saying the solution to poverty and crime in midtown [Kingston] is gentrification; he wrote that and put out the statement,” Smith said. “People didn’t bat an eyelash, but nowadays if you did that people will tell you to get your torch and pitchforks, and justifiably so.

“It just shows how issues evolve, how things evolve and how movements evolve.”

The Daily Freeman, a traditional daily newspaper founded in 1871, has covered Ulster County, Dutchess County, Greene County and Columbia County. The Daily Freeman covers the City of Kingston already, so the Kingston Wire will create competition in the media landscape.

“I think we’re [going to] have a particular angle that may be a little different than the Daily Freeman,” said Alex Shiffer, publisher for the Kingston Wire. “We’re really trying to get a variety of people writing for us; community members, people with businesses there.

“We’ll find the people based on our coverage, they’ll see our publication and it being very fair-minded and open. I think that’s how people come to us, and already we have lots of people who say ‘I’d like to write to your publication’ from all over.”

The Kingston Wire is actively looking for contributors to the newspaper. To contribute, email