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Barnes Inducted into Mid-America EMMY Awards/NATAS Silver Circle of Excellence

Professor Emeritus Amy Barnes
Professor Emeritus Amy Barnes

Amy Barnes, professor emeritus of mass communication at UA Little Rock, has been inducted into the Silver Circle by the Mid-America EMMY chapter of the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences on July 8.

The Silver Circle recognizes television professionals who have served the industry with distinction for 25 years or more. The nominated individual’s contributions can be in service to the industry, to NATAS, to the community, or to people training for a career in the field. Nominees are accepted from performing, creative, technical, or administrative roles within the industry or from areas directly related to television such as commercial productions, journalism, and education.

Barnes began her broadcast journalism career while still in college at a small radio station in Russellville, Arkansas – KARV, the voice of the Arkansas River Valley – first as a reporter and then as news director. From there she moved to covering the entire state as a reporter, anchor, and producer for KATV- Channel 7 and as a producer, assignment editor and assistant news director for KARK-Channel 4.

During her tenure at KATV and KARK, Barnes wrote, produced, and supervised newscasts and documentaries that won a variety of Associated Press, Radio and Television News Director Association, regional Emmy, and United Press International awards. Barnes joined the Arkansas Educational Television Network as operations manager and public affairs producer for Arkansas Week and other network public affairs programming.  She served as a consultant and editorial advisor to a KARK teen pregnancy documentary which won a George Foster Peabody award, a regional Emmy, and an Edward R. Murrow Award.

After more than 20 years as a broadcast journalist, Barnes moved to the public relations profession first as public relations director at Arkansas Children’s Hospital, then as executive director of communications at UA Little Rock. She received her master’s degree in journalism from UA Little Rock in 1998 and joined the faculty at the School of Mass Communication in 2006.  She retired from full-time teaching, earning emeritus status in 2020, yet still takes the time to teach a class each semester.

Along with her extensive broadcast background, Barnes is an accredited public relations professional who has served on the executive board of the Arkansas Chapter of the Public Relations Society of America for more than seven years. She became chapter president in 2003, and later served as chair for the Southwest District of PRSA representing more than 2,000 members in six states, was a member of the PRSA National Nominating Committee, a national assembly delegate for six sessions, and chaired the PRSA National Research Task Force.

She is also the co-author of “Public Relations Ethics: Senior PR Pros Tell Us How to Speak Up and Keep Your Job,” along with Marlene Neill.