Financial Planning, the leading source of analysis and news for independent advisors, has won a Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Award for Best Single Article for “Could Financial Planning Help Stem the Rate of Military Suicides?” by Senior Editor Ann Marsh. The special report was also first runner-up for the Grand Neal Award.
The Financial Planning entry was one of seven Jesse H. Neal National Business Journalism Awards finalists garnered by SourceMedia, the parent company of Financial Planning. The awards – bestowed at a ceremony on March 27, 2015, in New York City – are considered “the Pulitzer Prize of business media.” It is the third consecutive year SourceMedia’s Investment Advisor Group, which includes Financial Planning, has been awarded a Neal.
Marsh’s report shed light on a difficult topic – whether the epidemic of military suicides could be reduced by providing more effective financial planning assistance. Financial Planning’s investigation revealed financial distress to be an overlooked but leading factor in military suicides. Marsh uncovered Defense Department statistics that showed that the majority of military suicides not only never saw combat, but never even deployed off their bases.
The findings in Marsh’s Financial Planning special report, published online and in print in May 2014, had a profound impact. The U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill directing the military to study ways to deliver more effective financial planning to those at risk. In December 2014, that measure was included in the overall budget legislation approved by Congress and signed into law by President Obama.
The project was delivered online in a digital long-scroll format, incorporating several video segments and extensive data analysis detailing the scope of the problem.
“This project demonstrates how proper financial advice could potentially be life-saving for America’s armed forces, underscoring the importance of the profession we cover,” said Scott Wenger, a SourceMedia Group Editorial Director and editor of the special report, who was honored along with Marsh and Contributing Editor Kamrhan Farwell with the Neal Award.
“We’re very proud to be honored for tackling this important issue – one of great consequence not just for independent advisors but for society as a whole,” said SourceMedia EVP and Chief Content Officer David Longobardi.
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