This session covers how to keep your scripts tight, how to build in memorable moments in interviews and how to avoid flowery language and clichés. We also explore creative stand ups and live shots. To cap it off, we talk about how broadcast journalists can polish their presentations.
Moderator: Bob Bicknell
Panelists: Jason Ball, David Begnaud, Kris Van Cleave
BOB BICKNELL is the senior executive producer for CBS Newspath, CBS News’ satellite news gathering organization, which provides news and information to 200 CBS affiliates nationwide and to broadcasters around the world. Previously, Bicknell was a senior producer and producer for Newspath, writing and producing correspondent coverage of breaking news, including the 2012 presidential campaigns and Election Night. He began his career at CBS writing, producing and editing for “Up to the Minute,” while concurrently filing daily as the nationally syndicated technology reporter for KYW-AM in Philadelphia. Prior to joining CBS, Bicknell was an executive producer at NY1 in Manhattan, and at WRGB-TV in Schenectady, New York. He began his broadcasting career at WTXF-TV in Philadelphia, where he worked his way up from assistant assignment editor to producer of the two-hour live morning broadcast, “Good Day Philadelphia.” Bicknell is a graduate of the University of Delaware.
JASON BALL is Vice President and News Director at KTLA-TV in Los Angeles. Since joining the station in September 2008, he has more than doubled the amount of television news programming at the station from 32 hours a week to 78.5 hours. The newsroom also produces 10 hours of live-streaming-only news, Alexa flash briefings, an array of podcasts. Under his leadership, the KTLA 5 Morning News has become the highest rated newscast in Southern California. Prior to KTLA, Ball spent seven years in Los Angeles at KCBS, KCAL and KNBC as an executive producer and producer where he oversaw different dayparts, special projects, and emerging technologies. A 27-year veteran of local television news, he also worked at WREG in Memphis and WPLG in Miami where he covered stories like the West Memphis Three, the murder of Gianni Versace and the Elian Gonzalez Saga. Ball and his husband, Troy, have been together for 22 years (married for 10). He is the host of The News Director’s Office, a podcast about local media and its importance. In 2007, he produced and directed the documentary “Out of the South” about growing up gay in the Southern U.S. Ball is also a backyard beekeeper and 5th generation Arkansan.
DAVID BEGNAUD is a CBS News correspondent based in Dallas. He joined CBS News in August 2015 as a Miami-based correspondent and was relocated to the Dallas bureau in January 2017. His reporting has been featured across CBS News broadcasts and platforms including “CBS This Morning,” the “CBS Evening News,” “48 Hours,” “CBS Sunday Morning,” and CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 streaming news service. In summer 2017, Begnaud covered Hurricane Harvey in Houston, Hurricane Irma in Florida and Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. He reported in Puerto Rico for over 30 days, covering Hurricane Maria and its devastation. His reporting earned him the prestigious George Polk Award for public service, which recognizes intrepid, bold and influential work of reporters across all media. He began his journalism career in his home state of Louisiana at age 18 at KLFY-TV as a weekend anchor and reporter while still attending college. He graduated from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette.
KRIS VAN CLEAVE was appointed CBS News transportation correspondent in September 2015 and is based in Washington, D.C. He previously served as a correspondent for CBS Newspath, the Network’s 24-hour television news gathering service for CBS stations and broadcasters around the world. Since joining CBS News in 2014, Van Cleave has covered a number of breaking news stories, including the deadly derailment of Amtrak train 188, the Boston Marathon bombing trial and the crash of Germanwings 9525. Prior to joining CBS Newspath, Van Cleave served as a reporter and anchor for nearly eight years at WJLA-TV and NewsChannel 8 in Washington, D.C. He began his television career as the producer of KTLA-TV/Tribune’s nationally syndicated “CyberGuy Report.” Van Cleave has earned 12 regional Emmy Awards, nine regional Edward R. Murrow Awards and was part of ABC7’s team of reporters honored with the 2010 and 2014 National Edward R. Murrow Awards for breaking news coverage.