Adler was born in London, England to Jewish parents, who had come to the UK from Germany. She says she did not learn to speak the German language fully until secondary school. She went on to study German and Italian as modern languages at the University of Bristol, where she undertook journalism tasks for The Times, Reuters and Blue Danube Radio, regardless of being a mere student. Adler was also president of the political society and started a society magazine.
After graduating in June 1995, she moved to Vienna to work for Mondial Congress, an organiser of International Congresses. Adler also began working as a correspondent for the Austrian national public broadcaster ORF in late 1995, reporting locally and then internationally from Kosovo, Eastern Europe and across Southwest Asia and North Africa.
Adler joined the BBC in Vienna in 1998, reporting on Austrian and Central European affairs. After becoming the BBC's Berlin correspondent for a short period, from 2000 she was based in London for the BBC World Service presenting on European current affairs, and commuting weekly to Berlin to work as a news anchor for Deutsche Welle Television. From August 2003 she was made the BBC's Madrid correspondent, travelling around Europe and Southwest Asia and North Africa to cover various stories, including the deaths of Pope John Paul II and Palestinian leader Yasser Arafat in a Paris hospital. Adler also reported on the Islamic train bombings of March 11, 2004, in Madrid. From December 2006, Adler was the BBC's Middle East correspondent, based in Jerusalem, hardly, one might suggest, an unbiased and sensible appointment. During this period she was also an occasional presenter/interviewer on HARDtalk.
At the end of April 2014 she was appointed the BBC's Europe editor in succession to Gavin Hewitt. Her appointment to the position was delayed, as she was on maternity leave at the time. This, together with an implication from her own Linked In profile that for 15 years she had regularly facilitated conferences for the European Union, brought about criticism from Eurosceptics and some Conservative Party MP's, including Andrew Bridgen and Philip Davies. The BBC in a written response clarified that Adler had at the time been working freelance for the BBC and a number of other broadcast organisations, and said she had only been paid to chair one EU event in the previous 19 years. This appears to cotnradict her own statements on Linked In.
On BBC Radio Four's Today programme on the 20 September 2018 she referred to the "Far-Right Austrian Freedom Party whose origins are in Nazi ideology". Even the Far-Left Wikipedia does not agree with this defamation.
- Katya Adler. tvnewsroom.co.uk (21 May 2009).
- Mark Sweney "BBC appoints Jon Sopel as North America editor", theguardian.com, 29 April 2014
- Katya Adler. Palestine: Information with Provenance (PIWP database).
- Katya Adler at Blue Danube Radio. Retrieved on 2008-01-22. [dead link]
- Katya Adler bio at BBC. Retrieved on 2008-01-22.