Barbara Ciara joined the WTKR NewsChannel 3 team in July of 2000 and can now be seen weekdays 4pm to 6pm on NewsChannel 3.
Barbara Ciara is an award-winning broadcast journalist with more than 25 years of experience covering hard-hitting news stories in locations such as Afghanistan, Saudi Arabia, Cuba, Europe, Haiti and Mexico. Her stateside coverage includes political campaigns, investigative reporting and interviews with luminaries like Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, Barack Obama and Oprah Winfrey.
She has provided analysis on CNN, CBS News, XM Radio, National Public Radio and the Tom Joyner Morning Show in addition to providing quotes for the New York Times and the Washington Post, among other news outlets. She is also a columnist for “The Daily Press” and recently served as president of two of the world’s largest minority journalists organizations, UNITY, journalist of color, and the National Association of Black Journalists. In these roles, she advocated for diversity in the newsroom, balanced coverage of the community and increased roles for minorities in management positions.
Barbara has won numerous community and professional honors for her work on camera and in the community.
But she is most proud of her work that gives a voice to the voiceless. She was awarded the coveted Emmy Award for her series “Guilty Til Proven Innocent”.
She also received honors from Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism for her reports on race and ethnicity. Her co-honorees were CBS’ Dan Rather and producers from 60 Minutes.
When people refer to Barbara’s world of experience, they are talking about her global travels to get the story of the air assault in Afghanistan following September 11th attacks on the World Trade Center, ducking scud missiles in Saudi Arabia during Operation Desert Storm, and reporting stints in Europe, Cuba, Haiti, and Mexico.
The highlights of her stateside coverage include investigative reports on consumer fraud, campaign coverage, felony voting rights, an investigation on Klan activity in Hampton Roads, segregation on city land at Portsmouth’s Bide-A-Wee golf course, a health insurance investigation that resulted in coverage for a terminally ill man, and her one on one interview with Oprah Winfrey.
Barbara Ciara has produced a number of works that bring history into perspective with today’s world, such as her award winning documentary on “Massive Resistance” in Virginia with compelling interviews of the ” Norfolk 17″, the students who integrated Norfolk School in 1959.
It’s the kind of reporting that gets noticed. Barbara has received the 1997 Edward R. Murrow Award from the Radio and Television News Directors Association, 1997 Emmy nomination for “Operation Haiti” featuring children living in poverty on the island nation, 1995 Emmy nomination for the series “Letters from the Hood” a gripping story documenting the lives of children who live in violent urban areas.
Ciara has also been honored with numerous Associated Press and United Press International awards dating back to 1986, as well as a dozen prestigious “Excel” awards from the Hampton Roads Black Media Professionals.
Her career began in Tucson, Arizona where she worked on the school newspaper at Pima Community College while also attending the University of Arizona. During her junior year she left college to take a full time position at KZAZ-TV in Tucson, Arizona in 1976. Over a five year period she worked in production as an audio director, technical director, and later in news as a photographer, reporter, assignment editor, producer, noon anchor, and finally news director. At the time, 1978, she was the youngest female and first African-American to achieve the management status of news director at a commercial television station in the southwest.
Although her work experience didn’t require it, Barbara returned to college enrolling at Hampton University to complete her undergraduate degree. She graduated Summa Cum Laude.
Barbara has worked at both the NBC and ABC affiliates in the Hampton Roads area, and she broke new ground in February 1997 when she took on the challenge of managing editor of LNC, a first of its kind partnership between commercial television, cable, and the Virginian-Pilot newspaper. There she helped to develop a format, cross train print reporters, and launch the 24 hour NewsChannel partnership. She held that position for two years.
From the fall of 1996 to the summer of 2000, Barbara also served as managing editor of the partnership between WVEC-TV and WHRO public television where her duties included producing and co-hosting the Newsmagazine “This Week In Hampton Roads.”
Barbara is also a strong believer in public service and has worked with a number of non-profit organizations. In August 2007, She was elected President of the National Association of Black Journalists, the largest journalism organization of color in the world. Followed by a year of leadership as the President of UNITY: Journalists of Color–an alliance between Black, Hispanic, Native American and Asian Journalists.
The honor Barbara is most proud of is her title as mother, and grandmother. But whatever you do, don’t use the “G” word, the kids call her Bobbi.