Tony Jones (news journalist)

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Tony Jones
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Jones at the GQ Australia Men of the Year Awards in 2011
Anthony William Jones

(1955-11-13) 13 November 1955 (age 65)
Education Newington College
St Paul's College, University of Sydney
OccupationTelevision presenter and journalist, writer
Years active1985–present
Known for Lateline, Dateline, Q&A
Spouse(s) Sarah Ferguson (1993–present)

Anthony William Jones (born 13 November 1955) better known as Tony Jones, is an Australian television news and political journalist, radio and television presenter and writer.


Early life

Jones attended Newington College from 1970 to 1974 [1] and the University of Sydney as a resident of St Paul's College, where he studied English and, later, anthropology from 1975 to 1977. [2]


Jones started working for the Australian Broadcasting Corporation as a radio current affairs cadet working on the AM, PM and The World Today programs. In 1985, he joined the Four Corners program as a reporter. In 1986, he went to the Dateline program on SBS. He returned to the ABC in 1987, reporting for Four Corners. [3]

In 1990, Jones went to London as the ABC's current affairs correspondent. He covered the collapse of the USSR in Eastern Europe, the Gulf War, the war in the former Yugoslavia, the fall of Kabul to the Mujahadin and the collapse of apartheid. Jones returned to Australia in 1993 as Executive Producer of the Foreign Correspondent program. From 1994 to 1996, he was the ABC's correspondent in Washington, D.C., before returning to Foreign Correspondent in 1997. He also covered the war crimes in Bosnia. In mid-1998 he returned to Four Corners. [3]

Jones hosted ABC TV's Lateline news and current affairs program from 1999. From 2011, he hosted the show on Wednesday and Thursday nights and also hosted the ABC's Q&A political panel discussion show. [3]

Jones is one of Australia's most well known journalists, winning awards including four of Australia's leading journalism awards, the Walkleys. Crikey awarded him "Outstanding Media Practitioner of the Year" in 2005 for "ferocious intelligence, polite calmness, [being a] dogged interrogator, deep political instincts, juggling the running agenda, [and having] a great sense of context." Crikey also put much of the success of Lateline to Jones, stating, "Lateline without Jones is a perfectly adequate late night news review; with Jones it is a world-class piece of television." [4]

In 2006, Jones and Lateline embarked on a series of stories that provided the catalyst for the Northern Territory Intervention. Tony Jones highlights these stories as being the ones he is most proud of.[ citation needed ]

On the controversial Q&A program, Jones regularly hosts national figures from politics, culture and the arts to discuss issues on the national agenda and face questions from a selected audience. Jones hosted the major party leaders during the 2010 Australian federal election. In 2010 on the Q&A program with Jones as host, former Taliban supporter David Hicks submitted an antagonistic question to former Prime Minister John Howard. In the same program, Jones apologised to Howard after a man threw his shoes at him in protest against the Iraq War.

Jones worked on writing projects throughout 2017.[ citation needed ]

On 7 November 2019, the ABC announced that Hamish McDonald would be joining the ABC as a senior presenter, replacing Jones at Q&A from 2020, while also presenting ABC Radio National's Breakfast, and doing current affairs stories for Foreign Correspondent . [5] Tony hosted his last episode of Q&A on Monday 9 December 2019.

In 2019, Jones joined his partner Sarah Ferguson on the production of the ABC documentary series Revelation to write all three episodes. [6] [7]

Personal life

Jones is married to fellow ABC journalist Sarah Ferguson. They met in Paris when Jones engaged Ferguson as a researcher while he was the ABC's UK correspondent. They married in 1993 and have two children. Jones has another child from a previous relationship. [8] [9]


Media offices
Preceded by
Maxine McKew
Presenter (Wednesday & Thursday)

1999 – 2016
Succeeded by
Emma Alberici
Preceded by

22 May 2008 – 9 December 2019
Succeeded by
Hamish Macdonald

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  1. Newington College Register of Past Students 1863–1998 (Syd, 1999) pp102
  2. "Great Achievements: Media and the Arts". St Paul's College, University of Sydney. St Paul's College. Retrieved 12 April 2016.
  3. 1 2 3 Lateline: The Team;
  4. Eric Beecher, Stephen Mayne, Christian Kerr, Hugo Kelly and Sophie Black. "Outstanding Media Practitioner of the Year". Crikey. Retrieved 30 November 2007.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  5. Hamish Macdonald to replace Tony Jones as host of ABC Q&A program, Natasha Johnson, ABC News Online, 2019-11-07
  6. McManus, Bridget (14 March 2020). "Critic's Choice for March 15". The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  7. "How not to get drunk with a television host". Australian Financial Review. 28 November 2019. Retrieved 29 September 2020.
  8. Wilmouth, Peter (19 April 2013). "Top of her game". The Weekly Review. Archived from the original on 14 May 2014. Retrieved 25 August 2013.
  9. Knott, Matthew (13 December 2011). "Power Couples: Sarah Ferguson and Tony Jones". The Power Index. Retrieved 25 August 2013.