Presenter, BBC News
In February 1996, Nik Gowing was appointed a main programme anchor for the BBC’s 24-hour international television news and information channel, BBC World.
From 1996 to March 2000 Nik was principal anchor for the ninety-minute premium weekday news programme The World Today and its predecessor NewsDesk. He has been a founding presenter of Europe Direct and has been a guest anchor on both HARDtalk and Simpson's World.
He is now a main presenter on the news programmes re-launched in April 2000 and a regular presenter for Dateline London.
Nik’s appointment draws both on his extensive reporting experience over two decades in diplomacy, defence and international security, and his presentation and chairing skills. As a principal programme presenter for the channel’s extended, continuous 24-hour/7-day week coverage of major crises, Nik’s invaluable experience was called on throughout the Kosovo crisis from March to June 1999. He was also on air for six hours shortly after the twin towers were hit in New York City on September 11, 2001. The coverage won the ‘2002 Hotbird Award’. He also fronted the unfolding drama of Princess Diana’s accident in Paris in August 1997 and announced her death to a global audience estimated at half a billion.
Nik regularly anchor’s BBC World live coverage from major international events, These have included the UN World Sustainability summit in Johannesburg, the German, Dutch and Russian elections, and the India-Pakistan summit in Agra. He also chairs BBC World Debates, including Nobel Minds in Stockholm and the World Economic Forum in Davos.
Before joining the BBC, Nik was a foreign affairs specialist and presenter at ITN (Independent Television News) for 18 years. From 1989-1996 he was diplomatic editor for the one-hour nightly news analysis programme Channel Four News from ITN in London. His reporting from Bosnia was part of the Channel Four News portfolio, which won the 1996 BAFTA for ‘Best News Coverage’. His investigations confirming covert US weapons air drops into Tuzla and the fall of Srebrenica were singled out for praise in the ITC (Independent Television Commission) programme review of 1995.
Since 1978, Gowing has reported from most of the main global conflicts. He was bureau chief in Rome (1979) and Warsaw (1980-83). In 1989 he broke the news that Russian troops were secretly leaving Afghanistan, simultaneously reporting the revolutions marking the end of Communism and covering the unrest in China. Extensive coverage on the war in former Yugoslavia led to his producing the widely acclaimed documentary Diplomacy and Deceit for Channel Four.
Independently of his work at the BBC, Nik has developed a sought-after analytical expertise on managing information in the new transparent environments of conflicts and emergencies. His 1997 study for the Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict in Washington DC received worldwide attention and stirred international debate by questioning assumptions about a role for the media in preventing conflict. Likewise his Harvard study challenged conventional wisdom of an automatic cause and effect relationship between real-time television coverage of conflicts and the making of foreign policy.
Nik is an active member and founder of many institute boards and committees related to the analysis of foreign policy issues.