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Australia’s media industry is mourning the death of veteran journalist and presenter Caroline Jones AO, who is being remembered as “a pioneer in journalism (and) a trailblazer for women”.

The former Four Corners host died this week after a fall in her Sydney home. She was 84.

Jones was the first female reporter for This Day Tonight in 1968 and later became the first female anchor of Four Corners, remaining in the chair from 1972-1981.

Behind the scenes with Caroline Jones filming an Australian Story introduction in 2016.
Australia’s media industry is mourning the death of veteran journalist and presenter Caroline Jones AO (ABC/Australian Story)

The Logie award-wining presenter then started hosting Australian Story in 1996 and 20 years later announced she would be stepping down from her role and leaving the ABC, in 2016.

Australian Story executive producer Caitlin Shea confirmed Jones’ death in a statement on Friday.

“It’s with great sadness that we announce that Caroline Jones, our dearly loved presenter of Australian Story for many years, has died,” Shea said.

“Caroline’s contribution to Australian Story is immeasurable. The program wouldn’t be where it is today without her.”

Caroline Jones chairs a debate between six women on aspects of the women's movement recorded, in Brisbane before an all-female audience.
The reporter and presenter is being remembered as “a pioneer in journalism (and) a trailblazer for women”. (Australian Broadcasting Commission)
Four Corners compere, Caroline Jones
The former Four Corners host died this week after a fall in her Sydney home. She was 84 (Australian Broadcasting Commission)

Praising her team spirit, Shea added that post-retirement the former host would regularly check in with the team.

“Even after her retirement, she would regularly make contact to cheer us on from the sidelines,” she said.

“And she always promised she would do one last introduction for us.

“Caroline was a pioneer in journalism, a trailblazer for women.

Caroline Jone's last day on City extra at ABX Studios, Williams Street. C. Jones alone in the studio waiting for ABC-TV interview to commence. December 24, 1981.
Jones, who is also a published author, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 (Jane Dove)

“We just wish she would have let us tell her Australian Story. She was truly deserving of it.”

Jones, who is also a published author, was made an Officer of the Order of Australia in 1988 and the following year was voted an Australian Living Treasure by the National Trust of Australia.

As of 2009, a portrait of Jones hangs in the National Portrait Gallery and in 2021, Jones was inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame.

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