Tracy Samilton

via Steve Chrypinski, Michigan Radio

On August 15, The Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) and the National Endowment for Financial Education (NEFE) announced that Michigan Radio’s Tracy Samilton is the winner of the 2019 Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Award in the Radio category.

Samilton’s story, “Why the Funeral Rule is one of the least-known consumer protection laws in the country,” looked at a little known consumer protection law in the funeral business. A Freedom of Information Act request by Michigan Radio/NPR found that nearly 50% — seven out of 15 — Lansing area funeral homes had violated the Funeral Rule – an often flouted consumer protection law. The rule requires funeral homes to give potential customers a price list before they show them things like caskets, and an itemized statement before the services are provided.

The Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting awards are presented by RTDNA and NEFE 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.

Also winning a Personal Finance Reporting award in the Digital category was Casey Bond, a Lifestyle Reporter for HuffPost, for a story on how multi-level marketing companies sell women on the dream of being their own boss, yet as many as 99% end up losing money. Winning the award in the TV category was Chris Vanderveen, Investigative Reporter for KUSA-TV in Denver. A six-month investigation discovered common, emergency surgeries inside Denver-area hospitals that led to lawsuits, property liens and wage garnishments.

All three winners will share their insights into financial reporting at the Excellence in Journalism conference this September in San Antonio.

The Radio Television Digital News Association is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. The National Endowment for Financial Education provides financial education and practical information to people at all financial stages.