UCG Newsletter Wins National Press Club Top Honors


For Immediate Release
        Nancy Becker

GAITHERSBURG, MD, July 20, 2009 — UCG’s Funeral Service Insider has won the 2009 Newsletter Journalism Award from the National Press Club, the third time in four years UCG has won honors in the prestigious national contest.

The winning articles, written by journalist Stephen Lee, exposed a massive insurance fraud at National Prearranged Services, a St Louis insurance company. Funeral Service Insider uncovered the company’s questionable business practices over the course of 11 issues and 20,000 words, as state regulators moved in to shut down the company. He pored through thousands of pages of court filings, NPS contracts, emails, sworn affidavits and campaign contributions, always one step ahead of the investigators.

Funeral Service Insider is published by UCG’s Kates-Boylston division.

"When times are tough in the news business, it is especially important to celebrate excellence in journalism," said NPC President Donna Leinwand, in announcing the awards. "These reporters represent the best of our craft. Their articles have exposed critical problems for consumers, kept our government and politicians honest and solved community problems. We are thrilled to honor them."

The prize will be presented at a dinner in Washington, D.C. on Aug. 3rd.

UCG’s Voice Report won the 2007 First Place Award in the Newsletter Exclusive Category for managing editor Jessica Gdowski’s investigative piece about hard-hitting business tactics at Avaya, a leading telecom vendor. A DecisionHealth editor won a 2006 National Press Club Honorable Mention for her investigative piece about misleading coding advice that vendors were giving to unsuspecting physicians.

“We are delighted that Funeral Service Insider’s expose was honored in this national contest,” said UCG Editorial Director Lisa Getter, who helped edit the piece. “While so many newspapers are cutting back on investigative reporting, it is more important now than ever for the specialty press to keep digging away at stories like these.”

UCG has won more awards for its specialty journalism than any other business information company in America. This year, it continued its 30-year streak of winning prizes from the Specialty Information Publishers Foundation, capturing seven editorial awards at its national awards luncheon in June. All told, UCG has won 117 awards in that national contest.