• Follow me on:

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.


Recent Articles
  • Teen fighting cancer: ‘Ever since I got cancer, I matured a lot’

    Fifteen-year-old Sydney Mitchell could race anyone down the hallways of St. Jude if she wanted to. Not only is she a survivor, she will tell you cheating death gave her something–it opened her eyes about life. “Before I was just a 12-year-old not thinking about school; none of that. Now I do care about school. I’m a lot closer to my family; me and my sister are a lot closer. We don’t argue as much, says Sydney. Sydney also developed […]

  • Les Smith and Barbara Ciara

    Les and Barbara team up to take action, and get results

    The team you trust is back – and better than ever. Watch Les and Barbara team up – to take action and get results, every night on NewsChannel 3.

  • Military veteran joins the fight for medical marijuana in Virginia

    Weed, Mary Jane, pot: For some folks, it`s not slang, it`s a change-your-life serious subject. Twenty-two states now have medical cannabis laws on the books but Virginia is not among them. One military veteran is waging a personal battle on behalf of veterans’ health rights everywhere to change that. Every human being has a story to tell, and T.J. Thompson’s begins with a simple but profound statement! “I’m a U.S. Navy Veteran from 98′ to 04′ and I suffer Post […]

  • Could a weed bill puff puff pass in Virginia?

    There is a new push to Educate Virginia lawmakers about the benefits of Medical Marijuana. And it’s not coming from stoners who want to get high; the message is coming from a group of folks who see the weed as a way to heal. In the Northern Neck of Virginia lives a woman a crusader really by the name of Lisa Smith. She wasn’t always that way until she became a Mom. “I’m probably the least typical person you would […]

  • Photo: Reporter Darragh Copley

    Crews work to clear bus stops in Hampton

    HRT has hired three contractors to clear bus stops, NewsChannel 3 has learned. Crews started Tuesday and Wednesday on high priority bus stops, with about 10 to 15 trucks working. A spokesperson for HRT says there are a lot of bus stops across the region, and crews are responding to the “busiest ones” first. The City of Hampton is now sending its own crews out to clear bus stops, in hopes of having buses running again. What provisions have been made […]

  • Memorial service held for Sailors killed in helicopter crash

    Three sailors killed in last week's helicopter crash will be remembered later today. Lieutenant Sean Snyder, Lieutenant Wesley Van Dorn...

  • Barbara discusses the Steelers’ playoff probability

    It’s a big weekend if you love football, and for Steeler fans like Barbara Ciara, it’s a nail biter!

  • Father of murder victim on confessed killer: ‘I have a fear he will come after my children’

    A killer found not guilty by reason of insanity taunted a local family on Facebook until NewsChannel 3 took action and got results. He was given Internet access at Eastern State Hospital and now after our inquiries, his page has mysteriously disappeared. Some viewers weighed in asking why the family didn’t just block him. It’s not quite that simple and there`s a bigger issue. The clock is ticking on when the killer is declared sane and released. Bill Knarr wants […]

  • Confessed killer accesses Facebook from mental hospital

    In a 2010 interview, Owen Walker confessed to the bloody crime of stabbing the mother of two of his children 26 times. “At the time of the actual incident, I was completely out of my own control,” says Walker. Walker is confined in a mental ward at Eastern State Hospital, yet he has found a way to reach beyond the barbed wire. Three years later, the victim’s father says he cannot heal because he is vexed by the taunts of […]

  • Woman diagnosed with breast cancer: ‘I can’t die right now. I have to take care of my son’

    Laqueta Powell is a 36-year-old woman who loves being a mom more than anything. “He was my inspiration, and my son loves me unconditionally,” says Powell. But there are conditions in Laqueta’s life, that threatened to interrupt her future with little Bryce, a future impacted by the past. Her mother died of breast cancer at age 47; Laqueta was only 9-years-old at the time. “I knew why she died; I didn’t know the details,” says Powell. As she grew into a […]

  • Virginia Beach butcher features camel meat — and sells out!

    More and more people are showing up to try the exotic game, which the Country Butcher and Deli is selling in camel patties for $15.99/pound or ground camel for $14.99/pound.

  • Former Navy SEAL turned astronaut helps to make rescue in space

    When York’s Chris Cassidy interviewed on NewsChannel 3’s morning show, little did we know we were talking to a guy who would help save the day in outer space. Yesterday’s walk turned out to be anything but routine, when Cassidy noticed Parmitano’s helmet sprung a water leak that could have choked or drowned him. It was the first time in years that a spacewalk came to such an abrupt halt. Our local guy Chris Cassidy helped get Parmitano back inside […]

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 15,930 other followers