Sara James is an Emmy award-winning foreign correspondent, author, and commentator.

James covers Australasia for NBC News, filing reports for The Today Show, Dateline, and NBC Nightly News.

Among her many assignments, James covered the 2012 tour of Prince William and Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge to Singapore, Malaysia and the Solomon Islands. She reported on the 2011 earthquake in Christchurch, New Zealand, the 2009 Black Saturday bush fires in her home state of Victoria, and Queen Elizabeth II’s visit to Australia. Her recent Interview subjects have included Lindy Chamberlain Creighton and Terri Irwin.

Before moving to Australia in 2008, James was based in New York for more than a decade. She earned many awards for her reports on the most significant international stories of our era, including 9/11 in her hometown. James also covered the Taliban of Afghanistan, modern day slavery in Sudan, the Bosnian War Crimes Tribunal, the Columbine High School massacre, the Oklahoma City bombing, famine in Somalia, and political upheaval in Haiti. James was the first network reporter to travel to the bottom of the Atlantic to the site of the Titanic for the Dateline/Discovery Special “Raising the Titanic.”

James served as substitute newsreader on The Today Show, and as a guest host of Weekend Today. She frequently anchored on MSNBC and was the first host of NBC Nightside.

In Australia, James is a guest commentator on politics and current affairs on ABC News Breakfast, ABC’s Planet America, and on Evenings with Lindy Burns on 774 ABC Melbourne.

She also has been interviewed by Channel 7, Meet the Press, and The 7PM Project. She provided political analysis of the historic 2008 U.S. Presidential Race for Channel 10’s 9 a.m. with David and Kim.

James’ report on Australia’s Stolen Generation won the Overseas Press Club of America Citation for Excellence. She received the U.S. National Press Club award for her investigation of modern day slavery in Sudan, a New York Festival award for her report on the first woman considered for the U.S. space program, and a coveted Emmy for her coverage of the shootings at Columbine High School in Colorado. She received a Headliner Award for her report on a victim of the September 11 bombings, and a Gracie for her story about methamphetamine addiction in women.

Untitled-1 James is an accomplished public speaker who has addressed a wide range of audiences in the U.S. and Australia.

James was born and raised in the United States and graduated with distinction from the University of Virginia. She lives in the Macedon Ranges near Melbourne with her Australian husband, Andrew Butcher, their daughters, Sophie and Jacqueline, a golden retriever, Nanci Drew, and a hen house full of chooks.

"If you ask me would any correspondent who has worked in New York, the epicentre of TV News, a rising star, would that person leave it all to go to Australia – I would say 99.9 out of a 100 – never,” Neal Shapiro, Sara James’ former boss Dateline, NBC, New York.

Emmy Award winning television journalist Sara James had the job most journalists would dream of - as an anchor and foreign correspondent for America’s NBC.

She spent 15 years at 30 Rock, the home of NBC New York and enjoyed a Manhattan lifestyle as well as reporting from Somalia, Sudan and Pakistan/Afghanistan.

Then she met an Australian journalist nearly ten years her junior and fell in love. After many years of trying to make a long distance romance work, Andrew Butcher took up the role of Rupert Murdoch’s main media spokesman in New York so they could be together.

In New York they had one daughter Sophie and then a second, Jacqueline. And that’s when life started to come unstuck. Sara James knew something was wrong with Jacqueline when she didn’t hear her cry after she was born.

“This doctor shakes his head as he looked at the EEG, and he looked at me and said you need to know this is a bad brain. And then a nurse came over and she put her hand around me and she just walked me out of the room away from the doctor and she said, you need to know they don’t always know everything. I’ve looked at your little girl and she has bright eyes, don’t give up.”

The couple returned to Andrew’s home town of Muckleford, two hours north of Melbourne to raise their family and seek a diagnosis and treatment for Jacqueline.

Sara James has been fighting for her daughter ever since and has also created a role for herself as the first Australasian correspondent for NBC.

NBC, The Today Show, Dateline

Australian Story
A Place For Us
Screening August 12,
8pm, ABC 1

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Introduced by Terri Irwin

The Latest Publication

James' latest book, An American in Oz, 
will be released by Allen & Unwin in March, 2014.

It details her family’s adventures moving from New York City to their current home in country Victoria. James explores balancing work as a reporter with being a wife and mum of two girls, one of whom has special needs. Her book An Extraordinary School, about Port Phillip Specialist School in Melbourne, was released in May, 2012. Published by ACER Press, the book examines the arts-based, holistic approach of this world-class school for children who have an intellectual disability. Her first book The Best of Friends, co-authored with National Geographic wildlife filmmaker Ginger Mauney, was published in 2007 by HarperCollins.

An American in Oz – The Column – Coming Soon