America’s Newspapers — the association formed from the merger of the Inland Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association — was ceremonially launched Oct. 6 at its inaugural annual meeting in Chicago.

America’s Newspapers unites two of the oldest press associations to form one of the industry’s largest advocates for newspapers and the many benefits to their communities, civil life, freedom of expression and democracy, according to the group. “Newspaper journalism provides a voice for the voiceless, challenges elected officials, shines a light on government, calls for change when change is needed, and exposes corruption and injustice,” said Chris Reen, the president and publisher of The Gazette in Colorado Springs, who will serve as the first president ofAmerica’s Newspapers. Dean Ridings has been selected CEO of the origination.

Along with its new name and logo, America’s Newspapers launched the website, and social media outreach on Facebook, LinkedIn and @NewspaperOrg on Twitter.

All current members of SNPA and Inland will become members of the new association. See a video from America's Newspapers at .

Marc Wilson, chairman emeritus of TownNews, presents Joyce McCullough, president and publisher of Miller Group Media, with the Inland Press Association’s Ray Carlsen Distinguished Service Award Oct. 7 at the JW Marriott Hotel in Chicago, site of America Newspapers’ inaugural meeting.

Named after the former Inland executive director who retired in 2009, the award’s criteria state that it is intended for “members who have distinguished themselves in service to the association and its affiliated foundation, who have been exemplary in service to their communities and their companies, and who deserve the recognition of their peers and colleagues.”

McCullough was on the Inland association board and is currently on the Inland Press Foundation board. McCullough is most widely associated, along with Marc Wilson, as a champion of the Inland Fellows Program, pairing management-track newspaper employees with mentors from Inland papers with an aim towards cultivating a new and diverse generation of newspaper leaders.

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