Clifton Barnes, a 1982 UNC grad with majors in journalism and political science, and owner of CB3media, has won two national writing awards.
Barnes won the awards from the DC area-based Communications Concepts through its 2011 Awards for Publication Excellence competition. Barnes was the only national winner in the News Release category and was the only North Carolina writer honored in the News Writing category.
For the news release, judges were impressed that Barnes took it upon himself, with no monetary compensation, to notify Washington, D.C. media and sports-related Internet outlets about the death of Noble Barnes, who had been a member of the Washington Redskins Marching Band for 45 years and was retired in North Carolina. The media in the D.C.-area had not picked up on Noble Barnes' obituary or the connection with the Redskins.
After Barnes' news release, that area's TV, newspaper and Internet outlets informed the public about Noble Barnes' death. But it was the writing that judges particularly praised.
"This wasn't really an obituary nor was it a regular news release," one judge said. "This was a warm, inviting and very interesting profile that gets to the heart of what made this man tick. The anecdotes were priceless." The judge said that this release surely got the attention of the media and made them want to get the word out about Noble Barnes' death.
The second winning article was a news article written for the American Bar Association's Bar Leader Magazine. It explored the emphasis that the ABA and its president is putting on disaster preparedness. It brought to light how neither the ABA nor the justice system was prepared in case of a natural disaster, a shooting or a catastrophic disaster such as a dirty nuclear bomb being detonated in one of our cities.
"A grim topic, but well handled in this news piece," one judge wrote. "Excellent examples of recent disasters add 'color' to the theme and to the argument presented -- for a much enhanced disaster preparedness system. The article puts the finger on a key problem in any such program, namely that until disaster strikes, people try not to think about such possibilities. But here, the case is compellingly made to think about, anticipate and prepare in advance for a range of 'bad news' scenarios. Very well done." Award officials said there were more than 3,300 entries in the contest and that competition was “exceptionally intense.”
The awards are based on excellence in writing, quality of content and the success of the entry in achieving overall communications effectiveness.
Barnes, who has won more than 70 journalism awards, served as director of communications for the N.C. Bar Association from 1987 to 2002 and, before that, was a newspaper writer and editor. He was sports editor of the Daily Tar Heel in 1981-82.
Today Barnes is a freelance writer, editor and Web developer in Cary, NC. In addition, he runs a website titled www.capitalsportsnc.com and another one on Carolina basketball at www.cb3media.com/heelprints. Along with his wife Andrea, he raises their five-year-old son Will Griffin. Barnes is the son of W.C. and Lorraine Barnes, formerly of Rocky Mount, who now live in Atlantic Beach.