James Painter is a Research Associate at the Reuters Institute. He first came to the RISJ as the BBC Journalist Fellow in 2006 and was subsequently a Visiting Fellow at the Institute. During that time he wrote the RISJ Challenge, Counter-Hegemonic News: A Case Study of Al-Jazeera English and Telesur.
James was the Director of the Journalism Fellowship Programme for eight years until he stepped down from the role in September 2017, when he took up a position as visiting professor at the IPMZ in the University of Zurich, then at the University of Navarra in Pamplona.
His main research interest is the study of climate change in the international media. He writes regularly on the issue and speaks at major international conferences for academics, journalists, policy makers and scientists. He has given evidence to two recent select committees of the UK Houses of Parliament.
He is the author of five RISJ publications on climate change: Summoned by Science: Reporting Climate Change at Copenhagen and Beyond (2010); Poles Apart: the international reporting of climate scepticism (2011); Climate Change in the Media: reporting risk and uncertainty (2013); Disaster Adverted? Television Coverage of the 2013/4 IPCC Climate Change Reports (2014) and Something Old, Something New: Digital Media and the Coverage of Climate Change (2016). He is also the author of several academic articles on the media's reporting of climate change.
James also teaches the MSc module on the media and the environment at the School of Geography, Oxford University. He has carried out several consultancies for Oxfam, UNDP, Conservation International and other organisations on the impact of climate change in Latin America and South East Asia.
James joined the BBC World Service in 1992, and worked as head of the Spanish American Service, head of the BBC Miami office, and Executive Editor Americas. Prior to joining the BBC, he was a correspondent in Bolivia for four years working for various media in the UK and USA, including the BBC, Reuters, the Independent and the Christian Science Monitor. He has published, or contributed to, several books and articles on Latin America, particularly on the drugs trade, Bolivia and Central America, and Latin American media issues