Nat S. Finney, 79, a Washington correspondent who won a Pulitzer Prize for stories about a plan by the Truman administration to impose censorship on federal agencies in peacetime, died of septicemia Dec. 19 at George Washington University Hospital.

Mr. Finney first came to Washington in 1941 as a correspondent for The Minneapolis Star and Look magazine. He returned to Minneapolis in 1950 to become editor of the newspaper's editorial page. In 1953, he was named Washington correspondent of the Buffalo Evening News. He held that post until he retired in 1968.

Mr. Finney won the Pulitzer in 1948. In the same year, he won the Raymond Clapper Memorial Award for Washington reporting.

In 1975, he was inducted into the Hall of Fame of Sigma Delta Chi, a professional journalism fraternity.

A native of Stewartsville, Minn., he graduated from the University of Minnesota in 1927. He began his career on The Minneapolis Star.

As a Washington correspondent, Mr. Finney covered numerous national political conventions and accompanied presidents on several trips abroad. He was considered a specialist on economic and nuclear energy affairs. In August 1962, he published a story saying that the Soviet Union was installing missiles in Cuba. This report was confirmed by events during the missile crisis two months later.

Mr. Finney, who lived in Washington, was president of the Gridiron Club in 1968.

He was a member of the National Press Club.

His wife, the former Flora Edwards, died in 1971.

Survivors include a brother, Ross Lee Finney Jr. of New York City.