PEOPLE WHO INSPIRE: BRITTANY NOBLE JONES
When Ferguson police officer Darren Wilson shot and killed 18-year-old Michael Brown on August 9, Brittany Noble-Jones sprang into action. As one of the first reporters in Ferguson, the KMOV journalist became a go-to source for updates, as she tweeted everything she saw and heard hours before almost anyone else.
She was also the first journalist to obtain the very first interview with Mike Brown’s mother, Lesley McSpadden.
“She just wanted to find out what happened to her son,” Noble-Jones said.
Noble-Jones interviewed residents and potential witnesses as the drama unfolded and emotions ran high.
She counts the Michael Brown saga as one her most memorable and life changing stories. Due to her great investigative reporting, The Riverfront Times named her the “Best TV Reporter” in the St. Louis area last year.
Noble-Jones also gained national attention when she was the only reporter to report on the case of Terry Robinson, a St. Louis man who alleged police misconduct after he said he was unjustly detained in March 2014. Robinson also secretly recorded officers threatening to plant evidence on him.
She said that the most rewarding part of her job is the feeling that she has helped someone.
Born in St. Louis, Noble-Jones grew up on the south side of the city with her two younger brothers—Jared, 20, and Jordan, 17. Both of her parents were police officers. Her mother Beverly, who is retired, was the first female African-American major for the St. Louis Police Department.
Noble-Jones is a proud graduate of Tower Grove Christian School. After she graduated from high school, it was important to her that she attend a historically black college, so she chose Alcorn State University in Lorman, Mississippi where she received her bachelor’s degree in Journalism. Interestingly, Alcorn is the oldest public historically black land-grant institution in the U.S.
As a sophmore at Alcorn State, Noble-Jones became more focused on a building a career in television. Even though she realized that journalism is a tough industry to get in to, Noble-Jones was determined to accomplish her goal of becoming a broadcast journalist by working hard and returning home to St. Louis.
Her first job in television was behind the scenes as an associate producer operating the cameras at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas while completing her Master degree in Mass Communications with a major in Radio-Television from Arkansas State University. She was at KAIT for seven months.
She previously worked as a reporter and substitute anchor at WEYI-TV the NBC affiliate in Flint, Michigan for a year and five months. She began her on-air career as a reporter at WBBJ-TV the ABC affiliate in Jackson, Tennessee for one year.
In January 2013, Noble-Jones joined News 4 as a General Assignment Reporter. She was recently promoted, so starting in March she can be seen at 5 a.m. and 6 a.m. Monday through Friday.
She spends a lot of time outside of the KMOV office, pounding the pavement talking to citizens throughout the St. Louis metropolitan area and surrounding communities. She also searches for stories by connecting with people on social media.
Noble-Jones often works 10 hour days covering stories on both sides of the river including assignments for the crime beat in the metro east. Sometimes it’s a challenge to put down her phone but she makes the effort to do so especially when spending time with her husband and family.
Last year, she married her college sweetheart Michael Jones II, who is a college administrator. As a newlywed, time spent with her husband is precious.
In her free time, the 28-year-old also relishes spending quality time with her immediate family, which includes watching her youngest brother, Jordan, play basketball at CBC. Jordan is a top recruit in the nation.
She regularly volunteers at church events and with organizations such as Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated, the National Association of Black Journalists, and the Greater St. Louis Association of Black Journalists.
Noble- Jones mostly listens to gospel music and reads biographies so that she can follow other people’s journeys while learning about how they overcame challenges to be successful.
She aspires to emulate award-winning female news-anchors at KMOV such as Robin Smith, Vicki Newton and Richelle Carey.
Robin Smith is an Emmy award-winning news anchor and reporter who joined News 4 in 1978. Smith is currently a reporter on News 4 at 5:00 and 6:00 and anchors on weekend mornings.
Noble- Jones recounted that while she was in college she saw Smith walking around the Galleria and was too nervous to ask Smith questions about a career in journalism. Now she works alongside Smith to bring the news to St. Louis viewers.
Vickie Newton joined News 4 in January 2002 and anchored the top-rated “News 4 at 10” weekdays with Larry Conners. Vickie also co-anchored the station’s 5pm newscast. She received the Regional Emmy Award for Best News Anchor from the Academy of Television Arts and Sciences in 2003. Newton left KMOV in July 2012 to move home to Arkansas to spend time with family and pursue some new endeavors.
Vickie Newton also started her career off at KAIT-TV in Jonesboro, Arkansas. While she was an associate producer at KAIT, Noble- Jones was fortunate enough to work with Newton.
Richelle Carey is currently a news anchor for Al Jazeera America since 2013. Carey anchored the News 4 This Morning show on KMOV. She joined the station in the summer of 2003 and left in May 2006 for HLN/CNN.
Noble- Jones hopes to continue following in each of their footsteps by progressing from a reporter who gathers news on the current events to an anchor who sits down in front of camera and delivers the news.
It is her determination and hard work that has contributed to a meteoric rise in her career as well as gaining the opportunity to work with news anchors that she admires.
Her advice to aspiring journalists is to:
“Dream big and reach your goals as quickly as you can. And when you get there create more goals.”