WASHINGTON — The Washington Press Club Foundation named McClatchy correspondent Barbara Barrett Washington's top regional reporter Wednesday evening, for a series of stories she wrote last year on North Carolina issues.
"I'm honored," said Barrett, 39, who's worked for the McClatchy Washington Bureau since 2006.
Her winning stories featured Republican Rep. Sue Myrick and her efforts to work with the Muslim community, an African-American artist who painted a portrait of the late Republican former Sen. Jesse Helms, Republican Sen. Richard Burr bringing Senate committee work to a standstill last year during the debate on health care, and a textile mill in North Carolina and how it benefited from tariff exemptions that Congress approved.
"We're delighted with this news, both for what it says about Barb's excellent work and what it says about the importance of regional reporting from Washington," said Anders Gyllenhaal, who heads McClatchy's Washington Bureau.
Barrett covers the North Carolina congressional delegation for The Charlotte Observer and The News & Observer of Raleigh, N.C.
Before she came to Washington, she was The News & Observer's roving state correspondent. She also covered urban development, higher education and a variety of hurricanes for the paper. Earlier in her career, she worked for the York, Pa., Daily Record, the St. Petersburg, Fla., Times and the Battle Creek, Mich., Enquirer.
A graduate of the University of Missouri School of Journalism, she's won other state and national awards for investigative, features and sports writing.
In 2008, she won an award from the Associated Press Managing Editors for a series called "The Promise," which looked at a National Guardsman who was dealing with post-traumatic stress disorder.
The Washington Press Club Foundation gave Barrett the award at its annual congressional dinner Wednesday night.
Called the David Lynch Regional Reporting Award, it's given annually to a reporter who covers the nation's capital for regional newspapers around the country.
Past winners from McClatchy include: Rob Hotakainen, who covers Washington state for the bureau; Michael Doyle, who reports for McClatchy's California papers; and David Lightman, a congressional correspondent who won the award when he reported for the Hartford Courant, a Tribune newspaper in Connecticut.
McClatchy's Washington bureau has 24 reporters who serve 30 newspapers from Florida to Alaska.
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