Daralene Jones anchors Channel 9 Eyewitness News at 4 with Greg Warmoth. She is also an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter who contributes to our 9 Investigates team, focusing on in-depth reports. She was the executive producer of the Ocoee Massacre project, a comprehensive television documentary, with a companion website and podcast detailing what sparked the killings of Blacks and destruction of their property on Election Day 1920 in Ocoee. She also produced “Groveland Four: Journey to Exoneration,” which tells the story of four Black men who were wrongly accused of raping a white woman in 1949. Her reporting on police use of force in 2019 prompted several police agencies to audit their reporting of excessive force cases, and the Orlando police chief praised her reporting, highlighting the discrepancies. She has also exposed questionable traffic stops that forced the police chief to review the department’s tactics. Jones was the first to expose gang violence connected to a string of murders, forcing the Orange County Sheriff’s Office to bring in assistance from the FBI. Her extensive reporting on the lack of COVID-19 reporting for day cares prompted the Florida Department of Health to change course and start tracking cases at day cares and schools statewide. And because of her reporting on the lack of testing in Florida prisons, the state increased the availability. She was lured to journalism as a child and was inspired by Ethel Payne, who was fearless as a journalist and wrote about many monumental national moments during her time with the Chicago Defender. Payne was also among the first Black women to join the White House Press corps. Jones was introduced to journalism when she joined her college newspaper staff and campus television station at Illinois State University, where she wrote about issues affecting students and the surrounding community. Her first stories were about health-related matters, which hit close to home because she lost her mother to a brain aneurysm as a young child. Before joining Channel 9, Jones worked as a reporter in Decatur, Illinois, Springfield, Illinois, Memphis, Tennessee, and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where her reporting was nominated for Emmys. Her investigative reporting on the G.W. Bridge scandal involving the New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie gained national attention. And she was her previous station’s lead reporter on the Oklahoma tornadoes in 2013, the D.C. Navy Yard shooting and the Boston Marathon bombings. This is her second stint at WFTV. Jones was recruited from the station in 2012 during her groundbreaking coverage of the death of Trayvon Martin and the hazing death of Florida A&M University drum major Robert Champion. Jones is known for holding public figures accountable. She was the only reporter pushing Florida Gov. Rick Scott days after the 2012 election for answers about his controversial refusal to extend early voting in the state and the affect that might have had in delaying election results. Her reporting was featured on MSNBC. Jones lives in Orange County with her husband and three children. She is a member of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Jack and Jill of America, Inc. and Florida Executive Women.
Jones volunteers through Meals on Wheels and also serves on the board of the Early Learning Coalition of Orange County and the Boys and Girls Club (West Orange).