CBS News correspondent on storm coverage: ‘Journalism can be a lifeline’
NEW HANOVER COUNTY, NC (WWAY) — CBS News Correspondent David Begnaud arrived in Wilmington Sunday to begin covering storm preparations for Hurricane Florence.
Begnaud has spent the last year covering major hurricanes in Florida, Texas, and a large amount of time in Puerto Rico. Begnaud was in Puerto Rico before, during and weeks after Hurricane Maria devastated the island.
Begnaud said he was sent to Wilmington based on the track of Hurricane Florence on Sunday. Based on his experience, he said there is still a lot that can change.
“At this point last year, I remember being in Florida for Hurricane Irma,” Begnaud said. “We thought it was going into Miami and it shifted. We thought it was going to Tampa and then, it shifted towards Jacksonville.”
Begnaud said he takes hurricane coverage very seriously.
“As a journalist covering a hurricane is exhilarating. Right? Your adrenaline goes from zero to 60 quickly, but it’s also a time to remember that hyperbole has to be put aside, because as a journalist we have the responsibility to tell people what they need to know,” Begnaud said. “Right? And what they need to know right now is today is the day to prepare, not Wednesday. By Wednesday you may be told you need to get out.”
Begnaud said he learned in Puerto Rico that journalism can be a lifeline.
“At a time like this, people are watching television and they’re relying on us to leave the hyperbole out, right? Set aside the hysteria and just tell me the facts that I need to know.”
Begnaud said there are about 20 or 30 CBS personnel stationed along the coast ready for wall to wall coverage when the storm hits.
You can follow David Begnaud on Twitter for his local storm coverage.
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