America’s Newspapers – formed from the merger of Inland Press Association and Southern Newspaper Publishers Association – was ceremonially launched this month in Chicago.
The new association joins two of the largest and most historic press associations with more than 1,500 combined members. Its mission is to be the industry’s largest voice for local newspapers and the role they serve to readers including watchdog and community advocates in civic life, First Amendment/freedom of speech and the expression of democracy.
“Newspaper journalism provides a voice for the voiceless, challenges elected officials, shines light on government, calls for change when change is needed, and exposes corruption and injustice,” said Chris Reen, America’s Newspapers first president. Reen is publisher of the Gazette in Colorado Springs, Colo.
Matt McMillan, CEO of Press Publications, Northstar Media, Kanabec Publications and Sentinel Publications (owner of The Baldwin Bulletin) was voted to association’s board of directors.
“This is a moment in history when citizens are realizing the value local reporting plays in our communities,” McMillan said. “People are deluged with unsubstantiated stories. Joining these two powerful associations allows members to tell millions of readers from coast-to-coast the vital role our reporters and editors play. Recent research shows communities without real local newspapers pay higher taxes due to a loss of oversight.”
In addition to its president Chris Reen, board leaders include vice president Alan Fisco, Seattle Times, treasurer Nat Lea, WEHCO Media in Little Rock, Ark. and Cameron Nutting Williams, Ogden Newspapers in Frederick, Md.
McMillan is serving as a director with along with nine members of the former Inland Press board, nine members from the former SNPA board and three research and development partners.
Find more about America’s Newspapers at www.newspapers.org, @NewspaperOrg on Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook.