Best Reporter

Michael Barnes

Fortuitous, maybe, that arts stories -- the embryonic downtown museum, the Black Arts Alliance fiasco -- made Page One in recent months, allowing the daily to show off its estimable arts-beat point man to best advantage. But these might not have been important stories were it not for Barnes, who's brought energy and critical insight to covering Austin arts as a key component of our public life and exposing where we fall short of our promise and our leaders' promises. Making important issues into news rather than reacting to the spoon-feeding of image engineers is what a good journalist should do, and Barnes has done it well.

Austin American-Statesman
305 S. Congress, 512/445-3500

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