A Times-backed effort to unify the Region has earned the media company a 2013 Community Leadership award from the Inland Press Association.
The association awarded The Times first place in its circulation category of 50,000-99,999, for the One Region project.
Times Media Co. Publisher Chris White accepted the award at the annual Inland meeting in Chicago.
"I was very happy to be able to accept this award on behalf of the Times and One Region. It's rewarding that others recognize the importance of the work being done here," said White, who serves as co-chairman of the One Region board.
One Region was founded in 2008 by former Times Media Co. Publisher Bill Masterson Jr. and has 16 action initiatives covering areas such as health care, environment, education, veterans issues and public safety.
"We are pleased with this honor," Times Executive Editor William Nangle said. "However, One Region is a program we believe in and pursue, not for recognition but for the prospect of positive results benefiting the region."
Judges commended The Times for taking the lead in helping the three-county region in Northwest Indiana work together for the good of everyone in the economically distressed area.
"The publisher joins with the governor and a U.S. congressman to provide the leadership to draw the community leaders into a One Region initiative," the judges stated. "The newspaper, with full staff cooperation, backs the plan and provides the public with the information they need to buy into something that can improve the lives of many. Or we can hope it can."
In its entry letter, The Times discussed its commitment to community leadership in the Region.
"The Times' role in the One Region initiative is two-fold — bring people together to advance progress on critical regional issues and inform the region’s diverse population of the initiatives likely to impact their quality of life and pocketbook," the submission stated. "Then, too, it is our goal to encourage people to become engaged in a process beneficial to all living in northwest Indiana."
One Region has worked to foster cooperation, building on common goals.
"It is a region of more than 50 communities, a diverse population of over a half million people and an economy linked to heavy industry," the entry stated. "It has great strength as an economic engine for Indiana, but its very strength has been diluted by balkanization that spawned isolated self-interest. To end the isolation and help the region reach its full potential, The Times brought 200 leaders from the region’s many sectors — education, health, public safety and so on — together in 2007 under the banner of One Region."