In November 2014 James was appointed News Editor for BBC News and Current Affairs.

Before that, James was Head of News, BBC World News, 2013-14, responsible for leading a team of 150 production staff and presenters. The channel won three Emmys, a Peabody and a Prix Bayeux for its reporting in Syria and Africa. He was also Deputy Head of the BBC Newsroom.

From 2009-13 James was Editor of the BBC News bulletins at Six and Ten on BBC One. The period covered the Arab uprisings, the 2010 General Election and the London Olympics.

Before that he was Middle East Bureau Chief in 2007-2009, responsible for a team of correspondents in seven offices across the region. He was Chairman of the Foreign Press Association for Israel and the Palestinian Territories.

James joined the BBC as a researcher on Panorama, going on to work on a wide range of current affairs programmes.

In 2000 he became Deputy Editor of Newsnight. The programme was Royal Television Society News Programme of the Year in 2002.

James launched the Politics Show, presented by Jeremy Vine, in 2003. He continued as Editor while also taking on responsibility for weekly radio political programmes and election results programmes, including the 2005 General Election. In addition, James was Executive Editor of Question Time 2006-2007.