Programme researcher: job description
Typical responsibilities include:
- generating programme ideas
- gathering, fact-checking and presenting relevant information, facts and figures
- organising meetings and interviews with appropriate people
- writing and editing briefing notes and scripts
- conducting interviews
- briefing programme presenters
- booking production equipment and staff
- preparing cost accounts.
Applicants must be able to demonstrate their ability to work under pressure and to deadlines. The industry is dominated by short-term contracts making for a varied and interesting working life.
Programme researchers are employed by independent production companies and television, radio and cable companies. Experienced researchers may be able to obtain freelance work.
Opportunities are advertised via the internet, national newspapers and specialist publications such as Campaign, Broadcast Magazine and their respective websites. Networking, job shadowing and speculative applications are advisable (directories including Broadcast Production Guide , its website and the Guardian Media Directory can provide useful contact information).
There are routes into this profession for both university graduates and school leavers.
A degree in any discipline is acceptable for entry, although a relevant qualification in, for example, journalism, English, public relations, media studies or history may be preferred. Specialist knowledge may be necessary for some positions. A postgraduate journalism qualification can be helpful for graduates without relevant degrees.
To find out how to get into a career in this area via a school leaver route, visit TARGETcareers, our website aimed at school leavers.
- Excellent verbal and written skills
- Able to work well under pressure
- Organisational skills
- Administrative skills
- IT skills