Daralene Jones

Daralene Jones
Daralene Jones is an anchor and reporter at WFTV. (Cindy Kelly/Cindy Kelly)

Daralene Jones is an Emmy award-winning investigative reporter and anchor who focuses on in-depth data driven journalism and storytelling for WFTV Channel 9. She is 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, November 2, 1920, in Ocoee, Florida.

Daralene has produced extensive content about questionable practices,  injustices and inequalities surrounding law enforcement and education in Florida. Her reporting on police use of force prompted several police agencies to audit their reporting of excessive force cases, and the City of Orlando Police Chief praised her reporting on the discrepancies. And she exposed questionable traffic stops that forced the police chief to question the department’s tactics. Daralene was first to expose gang violence was 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 daycares prompted the Florida Department of Health to change course and start tracking cases at daycares and schools, statewide. And because of her reporting on the lack of COVID-19 testing in Florida prisons, the state increased the availability.

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She was lured by journalism when she joined her college newspaper staff and campus television station, where she wrote about issues impacting 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.

She was inspired by Ethel Payne, a leader in the Black Press, who was fearless as a journalist and wrote about many monumental moments during her time with the Chicago Defender. Payne was also the first Black woman in the White House Press corps.

Prior to her time with WFTV,  Daralene worked as a reporter for the NBC owned and operated station in Philadelphia, where she was the lead on some of the region’s biggest stories, including the abduction of a 5-year-old, which earned her an Emmy nomination. Her investigative reporting on the Gov. Chris Christie G.W. Bridge scandal gained national attention. And Daralene was the lead reporter for the Oklahoma tornadoes in 2013,  D.C. Navy Yard shooting, Boston Marathon bombings and murder trial of abortion doctor, Kermit Gosnell.

This is her second time reporting for 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 drum major, Robert Champion. Daralene is known for holding public figures accountable. She was the only reporter pushing Florida Governor Rick Scott days after the 2012 for answers about his controversial refusal to extend early voting in the state and the impact that may have had in delayed election results. Her reporting was featured on MSNBC.

Daralene has lived in New York City, Memphis, Indianapolis Philadelphia, Decatur and Springfield, Illinois.