The 'Kingsbury Journal' revives local news in De Smet area

DE SMET, S.D. (Dakota News Now) Volunteers from De Smet, Lake Preston and surrounding towns are reviving the local newspaper.

For many years, those in Kingsbury County either read the Lake Preston Times or the De Smet News.

Earlier this spring when both newspapers shut down, the communities rallied together to create the Kingsbury Journal.

Newspapers have been a part of the De Smet and Lake Preston communities since the 1880’s, and on April 1st the local papers announced they were no longer delivering news.

De Smet resident Patti Ward said, “When it came out, the last paper, when it said ‘This Is It’ everybody was shocked and devastated.”

With no place to read local news, leaders from both communities realized the importance of documenting such a critical time in history.

De Smet Development Corporation President Matt Kees said, “People won’t know ten years from now what happened if we don’t put it down in black and white on a piece of paper, so people really wanted to bring it back and we started getting a ton of support from a volunteer perspective.”

People from all over Kingsbury County began to volunteer, and community leaders decided to have a newspaper that represented the county as a whole.

“People have that opportunity to hear news from the other communities around the area, it could be more inclusive than just De Smet and Lake Preston,” Kees added.

With the help of around 30 volunteers, the Kingsbury Journal debuted on May 20th, about 7 weeks since the last newspaper was delivered.

Ward said, “Everybody’s just excited about it, and they’re anxious to read the stories. We know a lot of people in Lake Preston so it’s nice to get their news and our news.”

The Kingsbury Journal plans to release a new copy every week and eventually pay their volunteers, but for now they admit they are still learning along the way.

"We’re still learning a lot of things. We’ve learned a lot in the past week, especially since Monday, in the whole process in the things we didn’t realize were important and need to be important as we build this content and put it together,” said Kees.

The newspaper has a digital presence at KingsburyJournal.com where you can read stories, along with submit as well.