Investigative Report by SourceMedia’s Financial Planning Honored with Nine Journalism Awards

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Coverage on the Connection Between Financial Distress and Military Suicide Led to Congressional Action

A groundbreaking investigation into the links between financial distress and military suicide by SourceMedia's Financial Planning resulted in congressional action and one of the most prize-winning stories ever for the company.

The most recent prize: the prestigious Stephen Barr Award from ASBPE (the American Association of Business Publication Editors), the organization's highest honor for individual achievement, given to Ann Marsh, Financial Planning’s senior editor and West Coast bureau chief.

ASBPE’s Barr Award capped a season of plaudits for the Financial Planning report that also included high honors from American Business Media's Jesse H. Neal Awards, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Society of American Business Editors and Writers, among others.

“Financial Planning’s military suicide project demonstrates the best of business media – leveraging deep market knowledge and journalistic skills to deliver work that matters both to the communities we cover and to the country as a whole. We’re very proud of Ann Marsh for her superb reporting and powerful execution,” said SourceMedia Chief Content Officer David Longobardi.

Below is a list of the honors awarded to Marsh’s special report, “Could Financial Planning Help Stem the Rate of Military Suicides?

  • Jesse H. Neal Award for Best Single Article and First Finalist for the Grand Neal
  • Society for Professional Journalists, New York Chapter: Magazine Investigative Journalism Award
  • Society of American Business Editors and Writers: Magazine Investigative Award
  • ASPBE (American Society of Business Press Editors): Stephen Barr Award
  • ASBPE (American Society of Business Press Editors) Impact/Investigative Awards: Gold National Award and Gold Regional Award
  • The Society of Silurians: Public Service Medal
  • Folio Magazine: Eddie Award: Best Single Article, Banking/Business/Finance
  • National Headliner Award: Second Prize Magazines/News

In addition to the nine awards, the military suicide project was a finalist in the personal finance category of the Gerald Loeb Awards.

The special report by Marsh dramatically illustrated how financial distress is an overlooked but leading factor in the epidemic of military suicides. Tellingly, Marsh pointed to Defense Department statistics that showed a majority of military suicide victims not only never saw combat, but never even deployed off their bases.

Marsh’s report also shed light on whether military suicides could be reduced by providing more effective financial planning assistance. As a result of the findings, the House of Representatives passed a bill directing the Defense Department to study ways to deliver more effective financial planning to military personnel at risk, and the measure was subsequently included in legislation approved by Congress and signed into law by the president.

“Ann Marsh’s determination in pursuing this vitally important story despite recalcitrant sources and amid her dedication to her other assignments makes her especially worthy of all the honors that have been bestowed,” said Scott Wenger, a SourceMedia group editorial director who was principal editor of Marsh’s special report and was also named as an award winner, along with Contributing Editor Kamrhan Farwell. “While helping to draw attention to the plight of America’s military personnel, especially those serving on bases domestically and trying to remain current on their bills, Marsh’s reporting demonstrated how proper financial advice could potentially be life-saving,” Wenger added.

About Financial Planning

Financial Planning is the leading resource for independent financial advisors, delivering the analysis, strategies and data advisors need to successfully grow their practices. Follow us on Twitter @FinPlan.

About SourceMedia

SourceMedia, an Observer Capital company, is a diversified business-to-business digital media, marketing services, research and event company serving senior professionals in the financial, technology and healthcare sectors. Brands include American Banker, The Bond Buyer, Financial Planning, On Wall Street, Mergers & Acquisitions, Accounting Today, Bank Investment Consultant, Health Data Management and Employee Benefit News.

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Jeannie Nguyen
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