RTDNA & NEFE announce 2019 Personal Finance Reporting Award winners

Education Resources, Finance 411,

RTDNA and the National Endowment for Financial Education have announced the winners of the 2019 Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Awards.

The awards are presented as part of the Money Matters resource, a tool to help journalists better cover stories about financial issues. They recognize the best in personal finance reporting. Three awards for digital, TV and radio reporting will be presented at Excellence in Journalism 2019. The winners will share their insights into financial reporting on Thursday, Sept. 5 from 3-4 p.m. The winners are:


Casey Bond, Lifestyle Reporter, HuffPost


MLMs Are A Nightmare For Women And Everyone They Know
"MLMs Are A Nightmare For Women And Everyone They Know" examines how multi-level marketing companies such as LuLaRoe, Younique and Beach Body sell women on the dream of being their own boss, yet as many as 99% end up losing money.  

Casey Bond is a lifestyle reporter for HuffPost covering money, home and living, as well as a certified personal finance counselor. In addition to HuffPost, her work has appeared on Yahoo! Finance, MSN, The Motley Fool, U.S. News & World Report, Forbes, Business Insider, TheStreet and more.


Chris Vanderveen, Investigative Reporter, KUSA


Lien on Me
“Lien on Me” started with a single email from a viewer to KUSA-TV’s investigative reporter Chris Vanderveen in early 2018. What followed was a year-long effort to determine if what had happened to Nicole Briggs was an aberration or part of a wider trend in Colorado.

The investigative team at KUSA-TV began by analyzing thousands of lawsuits and property records to better understand the landscape in Colorado.   Were there more liens?  Was there anything that tied the lawsuits and liens together? After coming up with a list of property liens placed by the collections company that had targeted Briggs, Vanderveen spent months calling hundreds of property owners, one by one, to better understand why the liens had been placed.

Eventually, “Lien on Me” discovered more than a dozen surgeons working in at least eight Denver-area hospitals were in on the practice.

Chris Vanderveen is an investigative reporter for KUSA-TV’s nationally recognized “9 Wants to Know” unit.  Chris’s work on medical billing helped prompt Colorado legislators to change the state protections for patients from surprise medical bills.  His four-year investigation into antiquated helicopter fuel systems led Congress - and ultimately the President - to increase the safety standards for all newly built helicopters in the United States.   His work has earned him two National Murrow Awards and 2019’s IRE Award.  Chris lives in Denver with his wife and daughter.  


Tracy Samilton, Energy and Transportation Reporter/Producer, Michigan Public   


Why the Funeral Rule is one of the least-known consumer protection laws in the country
"A recent Freedom of Information Act request by Michigan Public/NPR found that nearly 50% -- seven out of 15 -- Lansing area funeral homes recently violated the Funeral Rule - a little-known and often flouted consumer protection law.

That's much worse than the 18% national non-compliance rate. The Funeral Rule is intended to protect consumers at a time when they are grieving and emotionally vulnerable, making informed financial decisions difficult."    

Tracy Samilton covers energy and transportation, including the auto industry and the business response to climate change for Michigan Public. She began her career at Michigan Public as an intern, where she was promptly “bitten by the radio bug,” and never recovered.
She took over the auto beat in January, 2009, just a few months before Chrysler and General Motors filed for bankruptcy. Tracy’s reports can frequently be heard on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, as well as on Michigan Public. Her coverage of Michigan’s Detroit Three automakers has taken her as far as Germany, and China. Tracy graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in English Literature.

At the Excellence in Journalism session, these winners will share the key reporting tools and best practices they used to add depth to their reporting. New and longtime consumer reporters will walk away from the session with several ways to creatively approach their reporting and make comprehensive topics more digestible to viewers and listeners.

Along with the Money Matters weekly reporting resource, these award are presented as part of the two organizations' ongoing efforts to encourage radio, television and online news outlets to report on personal finance issues.

About NEFE
The National Endowment for Financial Education provides financial education and practical information to people at all financial stages. NEFE believes that regardless of background or income level more financially informed individuals are better able to take control of their circumstances, improve their quality of life, and ensure a more stable future for themselves and their families.

RTDNA is the world's largest professional organization devoted exclusively to broadcast and digital journalism. Founded as a grassroots organization in 1946, RTDNA’s mission is to promote and protect responsible journalism. RTDNA defends the First Amendment rights of electronic journalists throughout the country, honors outstanding work in the profession through the Edward R. Murrow Awards and provides members with training to encourage ethical standards, newsroom leadership and industry innovation