About Me

Donna L. Cole is an award-winning multimedia and investigative reporter.  From 2015 to 2021, she worked for WNAV News as a news anchor, outside reporter, social media editor and host of the “1430 Connection,” a weekly radio show. 

Prior to joining to WNAV,  Donna was a freelance journalist and worked for the Associated Press, The Capital Gazette newspaper and Patch (American Online).  She also wrote for Sea Services Weekly (Washington Navy Yard), Sergeants Magazine (Air Force Sergeants Association) and Chesapeake Family Magazine. Her photographs have been used by The Washington Post, WTOP Radio, Fox 5 Washington, D.C., WMAR-2 News Baltimore, The Baltimore Sun, The Capital Gazette, First Ladies of Football (NFL cheerleaders),  the Ballet Theatre of Maryland, Siemens,  Bollinger Foundation, Best Friends Animal Society, America’s VetDogs and the Annapolis Film Festival, among others.

The journalism work Donna is most proud of has been her coverage of the bald eagle poisonings on Maryland’s Eastern Shore. In the spring and summer of 2018, she broke the story about carbofuran, a federally banned pesticide, being illegally used and resulting in the death of 13 bald eagles – this reporting led to global news coverage. Donna continues her reporting about the bald eagle poisonings into 2021, exposing what she has referred to as a “dirty little secret” that has been happening on Maryland’s Eastern Shore for decades.  For her reporting work on the eagle poisonings, Donna received the 2019 and 2020 Society of Professional Journalists Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter Dateline Awards for Investigative Journalism, the 2018 Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association Outstanding Enterprise Journalism award and the 2019 Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association award for Documentary/In-Depth Reporting.  Her work also led to changes in pesticide licensing regulations in Maryland, the first ever carbofuran pesticide advisory being issued by the state of Maryland and House Bill 1025, that aimed to ban the possession of carbofuran in Maryland and rid of the state of stockpiles of the toxic pesticide. 

Donna also received the following awards from the Chesapeake Associated Press Broadcasters Association:

  • Outstanding Talk Show award (2015)
  • Outstanding Public Affairs Show award (2016)
  • Finalist Outstanding Public Affairs Show (2017)
  • Finalist Multimedia/Online Journalism (2017)
  • Finalist Outstanding Public Affairs Show (2017)
  • Outstanding  Digital News Project (2018)
  • Outstanding Digital Feature Project (2018)
  • Multimedia / Online Journalism (2018)
  • Outstanding Public Affairs Show (2019)

And she received the following awards from the Society of Professional Journalists Washington, D.C., Pro Chapter:

  • Dateline Award for Photojournalism – Black Lives Matter Protesters  (2021)
  • Dateline Award for Blog – Annapolis Creative (2021) 
  • Finalist for Dateline Award for Breaking News – Edgewater/Annapolis Tornado (2021)

Donna is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and for her service, she was awarded the National Defense Service Medal (Gulf War/Operation Desert Shield), Good Conduct Medal, Meritorious Unit Commendation, Navy Overseas Service Ribbon and Cold War Recognition Certificate. 

Donna is also a bird of prey rescuer and wildlife photographer.  More about her rescue work can be seen here

Donna’s favorite quote is by the late 60 Minutes Correspondent Bob Simon who said, “We would like to see wild animals survive. That’s one of the few editorial positions we can take and get away with. And anyone who disagrees with us – feel free to write a letter.” 


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