Multiple-award-winner Amalia Barreda joined Boston’s WCVB-TV NewsCenter 5 staff as a full-time reporter on Jan. 1, 1993 and retired 20-and-a-half years later at the end of June, 2013.
During that time, she covered historic events of New England, ranging from the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal to the death of Sen. Edward M. Kennedy.
“Amalia Barreda has covered it all for WCVB-TV, including a wide variety of stories which greatly impacted our community,” said WCVB-TV President and General Manager Bill Fine, upon Amalia’s retirement.
Prior to coming to Channel 5, Barreda worked as a weekend news anchor and as a general assignment reporter for WHDH-TV in Boston. While there, she was awarded three Emmys for her reports on the Mexico City earthquake in 1986, and for a series and documentary on Por Cristo, the Boston-based organization of doctors and nurses who assist the medically disadvantaged in Ecuador.
Before her arrival in Boston, Barreda worked as a weekend news anchor and general assignment reporter from 1980 to 1982 for WJBK-TV in Detroit. She spent four years in the late ’70s at KCST-TV in San Diego as a reporter/anchor and two years prior to that at KPIX-TV in San Francisco in a similar capacity. Barreda began her career in 1975 at KVOA-TV in Tucson, Ariz.
While in Boston, Barreda has covered a wide range of stories, including the Big Dan’s rape trial in Fall River; the Angiulo organized crime trial in Boston; the William Kennedy Smith rape trial in Palm Beach, Florida; the OJ Simpson murder trial in Los Angeles; and the Louise Woodward murder trial in Cambridge. Other notable assignments have included the elevation of Boston Archbishop Bernard Law to Cardinal in Rome; the arrival in Frankfurt, Germany of the newly released TWA hostages in Beirut; the Northridge, California earthquake; devastating Hurricane Mitch in Honduras; the visit of Pope John Paul II to St. Louis; and the disappearance and death of John F. Kennedy, Jr. and his wife and sister-in-law.
In 2001, Barreda won a first place Gabriel Award in the News Story category for the three-part report, “Katie Lynch: An Inspiration,” the amazing story of a severely disabled Regis College student. The Gabriel Awards — presented annually by Unda-USA, the National Catholic Association for Communicators — are considered among the most prestigious in broadcasting.
Barreda holds Bachelor’s degrees in Spanish and music from the University of Arizona. She is an accomplished flutist and studied in Nice and Paris under the direction of world-renowned flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal. Her intense interest in music continues to this day. She has appeared as narrator at Symphony Hall for children’s concerts with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, as well as with the Boston Pops. She has received numerous other awards for her work and her contribution to the community, including the Boston YWCA Academy of Women Achievers award in 1997.