NEFE/RTDNA Recognize 2015 Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Award Winners

Date: September 19, 2015
Contact: Paul Golden 303-224-3514, [email protected]

2015 RTDNA Award Winners

2015 RTDNA/NEFE Financial Reporting Award Winners. Back Row L-R: Mike Cavender, RTDNA Executive Director; Sarita Kichok and Michelle Mortensen, KLAS-TV Las Vegas; Ted Beck, President and CEO of NEFE. Front Row L-R: Blake Ellis, New York; Courtney Collins, KERA-FM Dallas; Melanie Hicken, New York.

ORLANDO, Fla.—The National Endowment for Financial Education® (NEFE®) and the Radio Television Digital News Association (RTDNA) announce winners of the 2015 RTDNA/NEFE Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Awards. The awards were presented today during the Excellence in Journalism conference in Orlando, Florida. As part of the two organizations’ ongoing efforts to encourage radio, television and digital news outlets to report on consumer finance issues, five winners have been recognized for their outstanding work.

Radio: Courtney Collins, KERA-FM, Dallas

Series: One Crisis Away

Collins is a reporter with KERA public media in Dallas, where she produces the station’s daily local news segment during NPR’s All Things Considered. Collins has won awards from the Texas Associated Press Managing Editors, the Texas Medical Association, the Houston Press Club and most recently she received the first-ever consumer financial reporting award presented by the Public Radio News Directors Inc. and NEFE.

Television: Michelle Mortensen and Sarita Kichok, KLAS-TV, Las Vegas

Series: 8 On Your Side

Mortensen leads the 8 On Your Side consumer division of KLAS in Las Vegas. She is a multiple Emmy Award-winning journalist and has worked across the U.S. and Canada. In 2015 she launched her “Debt Destroyer” program, where she helps Southern Nevadans get out of debt and become financially stable. Kichok is a photojournalist with KLAS and has worked in Boise, Idaho, and Orlando, Florida. She has been involved in many consumer, investigative and special project units.

Digital: Blake Ellis and Melanie Hicken,, New York

Story: The Secret World of Government Debt Collection

Ellis is an award-winning senior investigative writer with CNNMoney. She previously reported on the personal finance beat, where her coverage of same-sex financial struggles earned her both the first place Excellence in Online Journalism Award from the National Lesbian and Gay Journalists Association and the 2013 Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Award from RTDNA and NEFE.

Hicken also is an investigative reporter with CNNMoney. Before joining CNN, she worked for the Los Angeles Times Community News group, where she won awards for her local government coverage and investigative reports. Hicken also has written for the Orange County Register and Reuters.

The Excellence in Journalism conference is the annual national convention of RTDNA, the Society of Professional Journalists and the National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

For a list of previous winners and more about the RTDNA/NEFE Excellence in Personal Finance Reporting Award, visit

About the Radio Television Digital News Association
RTDNA is the world’s largest professional organization devoted exclusively to electronic journalism. RTDNA represents local and network journalists in broadcasting, cable and other electronic media in more than 30 countries. For more, visit



  • Paul Golden

    Media Relations Director

    Direct: 303-224-3514
    Cell: 303-918-3620
    [email protected]