Programme researchers organize, plan and coordinate the production of television and radio programmes, and undertake relevant background research.
The researcher has a responsibility for fact checking, writing briefs for presenters, and ensuring that the production adheres to appropriate legislation.
You can work on a variety of programmes or within one subject area.
The role may also be known as:
- specialist or live-footage or picture researcher;
- broadcast assistant;
- assistant producer.
- meeting with producers, directors, designers, presenters and writers to discuss the research needs of a programme;
- generating and developing new programme ideas;
- conveying findings accurately to others in report form and ‘briefs’;
- sourcing and researching facts, figures and information using the internet, film and tape archives, specialist collections, picture libraries, museums and government departments;
- assessing contributors’ suitability for the programme, researching and booking appropriate people and locations;
- booking resources and facilities;
- recruiting freelance staff and negotiating fees;
- providing administrative support such as typing, answering the phone and dealing with contracts;
- briefing scriptwriters and presenters on topics, updating scripts and editing news reports;
- sourcing copyright for literary and music sources and gaining clearance for any materials used;
- negotiating broadcasting rights and producing information and fact sheets for websites;
- providing research to production staff in a clear, concise format and tracking down film, archive and video tapes;
- finding interviewees to conduct initial interviews with and getting vox-pop responses to current events from members of the public;
- directing a small shoot and carrying out straightforward editing.
This area of work is open to all graduates, as work experience and contacts often count for more than your degree subject. Nevertheless, a degree in one of the following subjects may increase your chances:
- broadcasting and media;
- public relations;
Graduates are preferred but relevant work experience, personal qualities, confidence and evidence of skills may compensate.
- Excellent verbal and written skills
- Able to work well under pressure
- Organizational skills
- Administrative skills
- IT skills