In her high school senior memory book, Dawn Baker wrote that she wanted to become a Television News Anchor and Reporter. When she was in college, one of her professors asked her class what made them think that they were so special that they could get a job in the very competitive television business. She says, “Every day I think of him as I go to work as a News Anchor at the number one television station in the Savannah market. I owe him a lot. He had no way of knowing that his dose of reality would be exactly what I needed to prove him wrong and reach my goals.”
Dawn went on to earn her Bachelor’s Degree from Howard University in Washington, DC. In less than a week after taking her last final exam, she got her first reporting job at WECT-TV in Wilmington, NC. After working there for a year, she returned home and joined the WTOC team as a general assignment reporter. She worked her way up through the ranks as a reporter, covering both the court and education beats, before being named weekend anchor. After working weekends for three years, Dawn got promoted to co-anchor the 11:00P.M. newscast. Several years later, she was promoted again to co-anchor both the 5:30P.M. and 11:00P.M. newscasts. She still loves having the freedom of reporting on stories that she truly believes in. After more than twenty years on the job, Dawn says she is extremely fortunate to still love what she does.
Dawn believes that the best part of being a reporter is getting a chance to help people everyday. She says, “We not only get to help our viewers solve their problems when they feel as if they have nowhere else to turn, but we also have the responsibility to ask the tough questions about issues that affect everyone in our community and beyond. It is my belief that all of us are responsible for doing our part to improve the quality of life for our fellowman.” She has proven this through her work on several community boards, including: Goodness & Mercy Foundation, Inc., the Better Business Bureau, the Reardon Center for Children with Brain Disorders, Wesley Community Center for Children, American Diabetes Association, and the American Red Cross Bone Marrow Program. Dawn had the honor of kicking off the Minority Bone Marrow program for the Savannah Chapter of the American Red Cross, along with Bebe Drew Price, the daughter of the late Dr. Charles Drew. Dr. Drew was a pioneer in the field of blood research, transfusions, and storage. His system revolutionized the medical profession. Dr. Drew went on to establish the American Red Cross blood bank.
Even though Dawn has always been involved in community service and caring for the less fortunate, accompanying Goodness & Mercy Foundation, Inc. on medical missions to Africa has changed her life forever. Her trip to Konongo Village, Ghana in June 2006 and June 2008 made her even more driven and determined to do more. She has also traveled on medical missions to Ajalli, Nigeria (June 2007) with Goodness & Mercy Foundation, Inc., and to Antigua, Guatemala, with the group called Faith in Practice in February 2007. Her documentaries and series on these missions won her a Best Series Award from the Associated Press and brought in thousands of dollars in donations from viewers.
Dawn also does more than her part in improving the lives of others by hosting numerous fundraising events for nonprofit organizations throughout the Coastal Empire and Low Country, such as: the annual Children’s Miracle Network and the United Negro College Fund Telethons. She serves as host of the annual King Tisdell Cottage Foundation, 100 Black Men of Savannah, Goodness & Mercy Foundation, Inc. and Savannah State University Scholarship Galas; Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.’s Literary Café and Jabberwock; Alpha Phi Alpha Fraternity, Inc. Debutante Ball, Memorial Health University Medical Center’s Sickle Cell Anemia Foundation’s Musical Tribute to Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.; Safe Shelter Domestic Violence Awareness and CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates) fundraisers. Dawn also spends much of her time speaking at various civic events and schools, encouraging students to set high goals and stay in school.
Dawn has won numerous awards and recognition. Some of these include:
- Southeast Regional Emmy Award for Best Newscast and Best Staff Coverage Award
- Savannah State University Southern Regional Press Institute Excellence in Journalism Award, two time Service Award winner, and The Louis R. Lautier Award for Career Achievement
- League of Women Voters Excellence in Journalism Award
- Girl Scouts of Historic Georgia Woman of Distinction Award
- Georgia State NAACP Woman of Distinction Award
- 100 Black Men of Savannah Outstanding Humanitarian Service Award
- 1230 WSOK Community Spirit Award
- Top Ladies of Distinction Woman of the Year Award
- Port City Business and Professional Women Young Careerist
- A Working Woman In Need (A.W.W.I.N.) Top Ten Working Women Award
- Mu Phi Chapter of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Citizen of the Year Award
- The Mutual Benevolent Society Citizen of the Year Award
- Chatham County Youth Commission Beverly Whitehead Award for Service to the Youth Commission