Nikki Battiste is a CBS News correspondent based in New York.
She is an Emmy and Peabody Award-winning journalist, and her reporting appears across all CBS News broadcasts and platforms, including CBS MORNINGS, the CBS EVENING NEWS, 48 HOURS, CBS SUNDAY MORNING, and CBSN, CBS News’ 24/7 live, streaming news service. She has substituted as an anchor on CBSN, the “CBS Weekend News,” and for the “What to Watch” segment on CBS MORNINGS.
Battiste’s groundbreaking investigations into the 2018 Catholic Church sexual abuse scandal received critical acclaim. In a television first, her original reporting led to two clergy abuse survivors sitting down face to face with the priest they say abused them as children. During a separate investigation with the CBS News investigative unit, Battiste and her team uncovered allegations of sexual abuse against a priest still in active ministry in the Galveston-Houston archdiocese, over which the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops president, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, presides. After Battiste questioned DiNardo about the allegations, the priest was removed from ministry, and a week later law enforcement executed a search warrant for secret archives in the archdiocese. Two months after Battiste’s August 2018 exclusive interview with now-former Washington, D.C. Archbishop Cardinal Donald Wuerl, he resigned from his position. She also broke the story of nuns sexually abusing children, which led to more than 40 more victims coming forward. Battiste traveled to Rome in February 2019 to cover Pope Francis’ Vatican summit addressing the clergy abuse crisis.
Since joining CBS News, she has covered the gun debate in America and was the first to report on armed teachers in classrooms, which sparked a national conversation. She has reported and written several stories for the CBS EVENING NEWS series “Eye on America,” including a teachers’ strike in Sacramento and the debate over arming college students on campus. She also sat down with five sisters sexually abused by the same priest for an “Eye on America” report. Her feature pieces have included looks at groundbreaking brain research that could help with suicide and mental illness treatment, revolutionary food contamination technology, and the wild horse crisis in the American West.
Battiste has also covered breaking news for the Network, including the coronavirus pandemic; the Indianapolis FedEx shooting; Hurricane Dorian in the Bahamas; Hurricane Michael in Florida; the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting; the case of Colorado missing mother Kelsey Berreth; the El Paso Walmart shooting; and the New Zealand mosque shooting.
Battiste began her career at CBS News as a freelance correspondent in May 2017 for CBS Newspath, the Network’s 24-hour television newsgathering service for CBS stations and broadcasters around the world. She reported on the search for four missing men in Pennsylvania, the Parkland school shooting and the Austin bomber.
Previously, she was an award-winning ABC News producer and reporter based in New York. She traveled the globe to cover breaking news and feature stories for all ABC News broadcast platforms, including “Good Morning America,” “World News Tonight,” “Nightline,” “20/20” and ABCNews.com.
At ABC News, Battiste reported extensively on the Amanda Knox case from Perugia, Italy, and the search for Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 from Perth, Australia. She covered the Newtown and Virginia Tech school shootings, the Mother Emanuel Church shooting in Charleston, the San Bernardino attack, the Orlando nightclub massacre, and the Brussels bombings. She also reported on the 2016 presidential election, Pope Francis’ visit to the U.S., the Ebola crisis and Hurricane Sandy. She investigated radicalization in America, the rising costs of cancer drugs, medical tourism and bullying in schools. She was the first journalist in the world to sit down for an interview with Amanda Knox, after covering the Italian murder case for six years. Battiste booked and produced Diane Sawyer’s ABC News exclusive interview with Knox in an hour-long special, “Murder Mystery: Amanda Knox Speaks.” She co-produced other Diane Sawyer specials, including one on America’s shrinking middle class, as well as interviews with the youngest woman on death row and Newtown’s heroic teacher, Kaitlin Roig, just a few hours after Roig saved her first-grade students’ lives by hiding them in a bathroom.
Battiste also co-produced numerous “20/20” specials and prison interviews, including the Casey Anthony murder trial, the “Honeymoon Killer,” “Life of Lies,” and “Black Widow.” At “20/20,” Battiste’s own investigation uncovered evidence that helped exonerate a law enforcement officer who spent 20 years in prison wrongfully convicted of sexually abusing his own children.
She began her career as an NBC News Page, working on “Saturday Night Live” and “Today,” before working as a production associate at “Today.” She has won several Emmy, Edward R Murrow and CINE Golden Eagle Awards, and a Peabody, Deadline and Front Page Award.
Battiste graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in politics, philosophy and economics. At Penn, she was co-captain of their division I field hockey team. A Pennsylvania native, she now resides in New York with her husband and son.