Sara James is an award-winning Correspondent for Dateline NBC, where her work has earned her an Emmy, several Gracies and a Headliner award among others. Since joining the broadcast in December of 1994, she has covered a wide range of stories in the U.S. and overseas.
James won a 2004 Headliner award for her report, “Meet Jane Doe” on the final September 11th victim to be released from the hospital. James also received a 2004 Gracie Award from the American Women in Radio and Television for her report “Life in the Fast Lane” about the devastating impact of methamphetamine addiction on women.
James received another Gracie Award in 2001 for work including “The Long Journey Back,” which chronicled one family’s harrowing ordeal in the aftermath of the massacre at Columbine High School. Her coverage of the slayings also earned her a 1999 Emmy Award for outstanding coverage of a news story for “Killing at Columbine.”
In 1999, James journeyed to the dangerous border of Afghanistan to report on the brutal Taliban regime and it’s treatment of women. In 1998 she 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’s report “Stolen Generation” on the forced removal of Australian Aboriginal children from their mothers won the 1998 Overseas Press Club of America Citation for Excellence.
Domestically James has covered a host of watershed events, including the Oklahoma City bombing and the first World Trade Center bombing trial. Her story on the crippling effects of obsessive-compulsive disorder won top honors from the American Psychiatric Association. Internationally her reporting duties have taken her to the former Yugoslavia to report on the Bosnian War Crimes Tribunal, throughout Asia to report on medical experiments conducted on prisoners of war by the Japanese during World War II, to London to cover the death of Princess Diana and to Sudan for an investigation of present-day slavery. The Sudanese slavery story earned James the prestigious 1997 National Press Club award for international reporting. Furthermore, James is also the recipient of the New York Festival Award and an award from American Women in Radio and Television for her story on the first American woman to be considered for the space program.
In addition to her duties for the newsmagazine, James also serves as a substitute co-anchor and substitute newsreader on NBC News’ Today and Weekend Today and on MSNBC.
Prior to her present assignment, James served as national correspondent for NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw from November of 1994. She reported on the U.S. mission to Somalia; her coverage of the starvation and fighting took her deep into the countryside before the arrival of the U.S. Marines. James also traveled to Haiti, in the tumultuous days of the Cedras regime, where she reported on the killing squads that terrorized the local populace. James joined NBC News as a general correspondent based in New York in November 1992. Before that, she served as the first anchor of NBC Nightside, the overnight affiliate service produced by the NBC News Channel in Charlotte, N.C. since November 1991.
From 1986 through 1991, she was the weeknight co-anchor at WBTV in Charlotte, where her coverage of Operation Desert Shield in the Gulf earned her a regional Emmy. Prior to that, she worked at WWBT in Richmond, Va. from 1984 until 1986, and from 1983 to 1984 at WTVA in Tupelo, Miss.
James has also co-written the book, The Best of Friends: Two Women, Two Continents and One Enduring Friendship, to be released in June 2007. She is a graduate of the University of Virginia. James was born in Durham, N.C., was raised in Richmond, Va., and now lives in Melbourne, Australia. She is married to Andrew Butcher and they have two daughters.