work independently |

systematic |

organised |

variety in work tasks |

desk based |


entry level |

intermediate |

mid level |

Business Types: 

broadcast |

digital |

film |

journalism |

radio |

What You'll Get?


Fixed term, permanent and freelance roles.


Working week of 40 hours and can work weekend, and evenings as required.


£24,000- £35,000

What Would You Do?

There are researcher roles in every TV department and this information is based on a journalism researcher in News.

As the researcher, you are a key part of building the content for the stories that are aired on the news each day. Producers’ base scripts, shoots, and interviews on the information that researchers give them. It is down to the researcher to digest a lot of information, and present the programme on paper to the producer. The producer uses this to get an idea of what it will look like, what the story is, who are the sources, who will be in it, will they be filming on location etc. This is a busy role where you could be working on all aspects of the news and must be prepared to react to breaking stories.

Tasks and responsibilities:

  • Research stories and collate information for producers and presenters.

  • Source contributors for interviews.

  • Write interview questions and conduct interviews and transcribe the recordings.

  • Source locations and prepare the film set.

  • Source Archive footage and get relevant permissions.

  • Edit videos.

  • Liaise with contributors, agents, and press officers.

  • Pitch ideas for content.

What You'll Need?

Skills and abilities:

Good communication skills, IT literate, self-motivated, organised, determined, curious and have a can-do attitude. It is important to have a strong interest in the area you are working in.

Qualifications are not required but you might be expected to have some experience of working in the media, this could be as a runner, production assistant or work experience. Editing experience is not necessary but you would be expected to learn these skills in the role.  

What Can You Achieve?

This is a role which offers great training to become an assistant producer and producer, or it might open you up to a career in editorial. It is often the first step up from being a runner and can be used as a way of learning and developing skills such as video editing, photo editing, social media skills and journalism.

Where Do These Jobs Exist?

Researcher roles exist within most media companies and a good starting point is to check the career pages on websites for the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Sky. Social media groups often promote researcher roles for freelancers.

How To Apply?

You will be expected to submit a CV and covering letter explaining how you meet the details outlined in what you need for the role (personal specification). You sometimes get asked to pitch a programme idea as part of the interview stage.

What Else Can You Do?

The traditional route to becoming a researcher is to earn foundational qualifications, such as A-Levels or a BTEC Extended Diploma, specialising in media production or communications. After this you can apply to university and the course you choose will depend on your preferred specialism. For example, if you aim to enter the television news sector, you may benefit from studying for a (BA) Broadcast and Digital Journalism degree. You can then apply for an internship which would lead to entry level roles as a media researcher. Another route in is to become a TV or film production runner which you can do without a degree.

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