×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

CBS News’ David Begnaud Makes Mark With Puerto Rico Coverage

When Lin-Manuel Miranda decided to bring a U.S. TV news crew along for a look at Hurricane Maria’s toll on his extended family in Puerto Rico, there was little doubt which network the “Hamilton” creator would approach.

CBS News correspondent David Begnaud has extensively covered the painfully slow pace of recovery on the island. He was there for more than two weeks after Maria made landfall on Sept. 20, and he’s been back twice since. His reports on conditions in cities and towns well outside of San Juan impressed Miranda and his parents, who are natives of Puerto Rico.

“We went to the spot where the home that his grandfather built was literally wiped out,” Begnaud said of the report that airs Sunday on “CBS Sunday Morning.” “The only thing left was a porch and a slab.”

Begnaud’s tenacity in Puerto Rico has boosted a star that was already rising at CBS News. The Louisiana native joined the Eye in 2015 as a Miami-based correspondent. He relocated to the Dallas bureau in January, just in time to be in the right place to cover a volatile hurricane season for the Gulf Coast and Caribbean.

“I feel like I’ve been on the disaster beat for nearly three months,” Begnaud said. He was on the ground in Texas for Hurricane Harvey, rode out Hurricane Irma and then headed to Puerto Rico. He’s become a go-to correspondent for CBS News to dispatch for high-drama breaking news stories.

“I tend to be like a firefighter, and I’m OK with that,” Begnaud said. But his extended stays in Puerto Rico have also allowed him to do in-depth reporting on the infrastructure and economic issues bedeviling the island, and to vividly capture the storm’s human toll. He credits CBS News with allowing him the time and resources to report extensively on the recovery effort for various CBS News programs and the CBSN all-news streaming channel.

“I have a deep appreciation for interviews that make you feel inspired or emotional,” he said. “My aim is that in tell the story you walk away either having learned something or felt something from watching it.”

Begnaud said he has been moved by how grateful Puerto Ricans have been for outside media to put the spotlight on the island’s predicament, which hasn’t always been the case in other natural disaster areas. Puerto Ricans were already dealing with hardships caused by the island’s economic crisis when Maria hit.

Begnaud’s season of storms has taught him some lessons about reporting on widespread human misery. For starters, most people don’t need much probing to tell the stories. He spent about two hours in a shelter on Friday with a young married couple, one of whom is in a wheelchair, with two toddler kids who still have no idea when they will move to a new permanent home.

“I’ve found sometimes the best way to get somebody to tell their story in the most raw and vulnerable way is to not say a word and just listen,” he said. “I’ve learned that resilience and patience are two of the most powerful things aside from hope.”

(Pictured: Lin-Manuel Miranda and David Begnaud)

More TV

  • Catch-22 Episode 101

    TV News Roundup: Hulu Releases Trailer for George Clooney's 'Catch-22' (Watch)

    In today’s roundup, Hulu releases the official trailer for George Clooney’s “Catch-22,” and Disney Channel announces its “Andi Mack” series will end after season 3. DATES Gabriel Iglesias will star as a high school history teacher in the Netflix multicam comedy “Mr. Iglesias,” launching on June 21. The comedian teaches gifted, but misfit students and helps them [...]

  • Jussie Smollett

    Jussie Smollett Scandal: 'Empire' Cast Inks Letter Supporting Actor

    “Empire” stars Taraji P. Henson and Terrence Howard are appealing to Fox for their embattled co-star Jussie Smollett to return for the show’s sixth season. Henson, Howard, and the rest of the drama series’ top cast, penned an April 19 letter to Fox Entertainment CEO Charlie Collier, Disney TV Studios and ABC Entertainment chair Dana [...]

  • Sheryl Underwood and Mario LopezDaytime Emmy

    Daytime Emmys: New Procedures Aim to Avoid Repeat of Last Year's Winner Scandal

    A year after an awards debacle rocked the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences (NATAS) and nearly took down the Daytime Emmys, the organization has instituted new rules that officials hope have made this year’s proceedings fairer. One major one was to stop the practice of posting acting reel submissions from some key categories [...]

  • Game of Thrones Season 8

    'Game of Thrones': Bryan Cogman Confirms His Spinoff Isn't Happening

    SPOILER ALERT: Do not keep reading unless you’ve seen “Game of Thrones” Season 8 Episode 2, titled “A Knight of the Seven Kingdoms.” Veteran “Game of Thrones” writer Bryan Cogman has confirmed that his potential spinoff series from the HBO epic will not be going ahead. “This is it for me in terms of Westeros,” Cogman told Variety. [...]

  • Alex Gansa Howard Gordon

    'Homeland' Creators Ink Multi-Year Overall Deal at Sony

    Howard Gordon and Alex Gansa have signed a multi-year overall deal at Sony Pictures Television, Variety has confirmed. The new deal means the duo will depart their longtime home at 20th Century Fox Television. In addition to Gordon and Gansa, Sony’s current roster of creators under overall deals includes Norman Lear, Anthony Hemingway, Gloria Calderon Kellett, [...]

  • Mel Robbins - Season 1 -

    'The Mel Robbins Show' Picked Up for Fall Debut in Syndication

    Sony Pictures Television announced Tuesday that “The Mel Robbins Show,” its new one-hour syndicated talk show, has been picked up by Nexstar Media Group. The show will be hosted by author and speaker Mel Robbins. It will debut in syndication on Sept. 16 and clear 90% of U.S. television households. The list of station groups [...]

  • Ken Kercheval dead

    Ken Kercheval, Cliff Barnes on 'Dallas,' Dies at 83

    Ken Kercheval, who played oil tycoon Cliff Barnes, the rival of Larry Hagman’s J.R. Ewing on “Dallas,” has died. He was 83. A spokeswoman at Frist Funeral Home in Kercheval’s hometown of Clinton, Ind., confirmed his death on Wednesday to Variety, but did not provide additional information. Kercheval and Hagman were the only two stars who [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content