You may not have had any idea who David Begnaud was before Hurricane Maria.
But if you’ve been looking for thorough coverage of the natural disaster that paralyzed Puerto Rico, you know exactly who this journalist is now.
The CBS News correspondent has been on the ground nearly two weeks covering the devastation right along with locals, not only reporting on but feeling their pain.
Begnaud (pronounced “Beg-no”) posts constantly on social media, covers conferences for his network, travels the island and interviews politicians, officials as well as suffering locals.
One of his memorable posts featured Puerto Ricans attempting to flee Maria, sleeping at the San Juan airport; the reporter called attention to their lack of water and to the heat, while he was miserable and sweating himself.
People are responding to his passionate yet intelligent, straightforward style.
“I am convinced other networks wouldn't be paying attention to PR had it not been for your awesome work. God bless you,” wrote one poster on a Facebook post.
“David, thank you for your nonstop reporting in Puerto Rico. I can tell you that you are a beacon to countless people who are following your reporting and sharing it here on the mainland as we follow the events on the island. Keep up this amazing work!”
“Your face is the only one we trust in the media right now, i cant thank you enough for what you’re doing everyday PR, i dont live in the island anymore, but family does, so all this information is priceless. I cant trust anyone else in the media, you are the man!”
“David, with all due respect you deserve a hefty raise my friend,” posted another. “What you have done for us Puerto Rican’s can’t be measured in dollars and cents instead what we could do is put in a strong petition to CBS to give you a substantial promotion for your work, dedication, focus and humanitarian efforts you have displayed during the past week in a half. You are truly a blessing!!”
Instead of Internet trolls, Begnaud, originally from Louisiana, has an actual fan base who say nice, complimentary things.
Even famous ones. Like Charlie Rose who copied his mannerisms back in June.
There’s even a petition to get Begnaud even more props. “He deserves an Emmy for Outstanding Coverage of a Breaking News Story and a Pulitzer for Breaking News Reporting. “Hurricane Maria” The Aftermath and Humanitarian Crisis in Puerto Rico,” reads the Petition Site article.
“David Begnaud has been the presenter, messenger and the driving force behind the world knowing minute by minute breaking news about the humanitarian crisis that is developing after Hurricane Maria destroyed the Island of Puerto Rico on September 20, 2017,” it continues. “We the people are so thankful for his arduous work, empathy, kindness and overall dedication to giving the world a true glimpse into this catastrophic event that is upon the people of the Island of Puerto Rico.”