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Caroline Jones dies aged 84: Tributes flow for Australian media giant

Tributes have flowed for pioneering Australian journalist Caroline Jones who died on Friday aged 84.

With a career spanning more than 40 years, Jones joined the ABC in 1963 and went on to host investigative journalism program Four Corners.

At age 31 she was the first woman reporter on This Day Tonight and the first woman to anchor Four Corners from 1972 to 1981.

Jones was also the first presenter for the ABC’s profile series Australian Story where she worked on the program from the show’s beginning in 1996 to her retirement in 2016.

In a statement Australian Story paid tribute to the inspiring woman who made an influential impact across the Australian journalism industry, labelling her contribution to the program as “immeasurable”.

“Caroline was a pioneer in journalism, a trailblazer for women,” the statement said.

“The program wouldn’t be where it is today without her. As a team we are remembering Caroline’s grace, warmth and utter professionalism.”

“Even after her retirement, she would regularly make contact to cheer us on from the side lines. And she always promised she would do one last introduction for us.”

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

Jones died inside her Sydney home on Friday after a fall, The Australian reported.

ABC managing director David Anderson said in a statement that the broadcaster’s community was “deeply saddened” to learn of Jones’ death.

“Caroline was an important voice for many Australians and she served ABC audiences with distinction and class,” he said.

“Like many ABC journalists of her generation, she helped to define Australian broadcast journalism.

“As well as a razor-sharp mind and unflappable self-possession, she had a wonderful voice and warm presence that Australians respected and loved.”

Jones has a long list of outstanding accolades including being inducted into the Australian Media Hall of Fame last year and was a Women in Media patron.

Fellow women journalists also paid their own respects to Jones who was a mentor and friend to many.

Tracey Spicer, on Twitter, wrote: “My dear friend Caroline Jones was clever, witty, kind, nurturing, wise and a wonderful role model for women.”

Lisa Wilkinson said Jones would be “respected and loved by colleagues and audiences alike” and would always be “the gold standard”.

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