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Job Photographs

  • A man is sitting at a desk, using a computer.

    This researcher works in TV.

  • A woman and a man are sitting at an office desk.  They are talking, and looking at a yellow sheet of paper on the desk.

    A quick meeting with a producer.

  • A man, wearing headphones, is sitting at a desk.  There are four television screens on the desk, and editing machines.

    Looking at an edited piece of footage.

  • A man is sitting at a desk, in a large office.  He is speaking on a telephone, and looking at a computer.

    Speaking with someone who is likely to appear on an upcoming programme.

  • A man is sitting at a desk in a large office.  He is talking to a man standing next to him.  They are both looking at paper documents.

    Working with a presenter, to fill him in on a background story.

  • Four people are sitting around a round table, talking.  There are various paper documents on the table.

    Taking part in a production meeting.

  • Broadcasting Researcher

Broadcasting Researcher

Introduction

Broadcasting researchers work within a production team in television and radio. The work involves seeking out information, locations, people and archive material for producers and writers of television and radio programmes.

Also known as

  • Radio Researcher
  • Researcher, Broadcasting
  • Television Researcher
  • Media Researcher

Video: - Angela: Broadcasting Researcher

Work Activities

As a Broadcasting Researcher, you are responsible for creating the content that is used by Radio and Television Presenters. The programme types you could be creating for include:

  • current affairs
  • chat shows
  • quiz shows
  • documentaries
  • arts

You find out information by carrying out in-depth research, contacting people for comments or to appear on the show. If you are creating content for a documentary or a historic programme, then you would look through specialist collections or archives to find the most correct information. You could also find some music for programmes as well.

It is important that you make sure that all information for the broadcast is factually correct. You also need to keep accurate records of everything you do, for example, interview scripts and copyright details.

Sometimes, you will work with Producers and Directors, to work out the content of the programme and what is possible, considering the budget and time limits.

It may be necessary to travel nationally (and sometimes internationally) as a Broadcasting Researcher.

Being able to read, write and speak Welsh may be an advantage when you’re looking for work in Wales.

Personal Qualities and Skills

To become a Broadcasting Researcher, you need:

  • to be able to communicate with a wide range of people putting them at ease
  • to be highly organised with an analytical mind
  • the ability to come up with new ideas
  • self-motivation and the ability to work both alone and in a team
  • to be able to meet deadlines and work under pressure
  • knowledge of research sources
  • writing and keyboard skills

Pay and Opportunities

Pay

The pay rates given below are approximate.

  • Starting: £27,000 - £29,000
  • With experience: £32,000 - £35,000
  • Senior Broadcasting Researchers earn £38,000 - £40,000

Hours of work

Broadcasting Researchers usually work 40 hours a week. However, longer hours, including evening and weekend work may be required.

Where could I work?

Opportunities for Broadcasting Researchers occur regionally in towns and cities throughout the UK, and in major broadcasting production centres such as London, Birmingham, Manchester/Salford and Leeds.

The main employers of Broadcasting Researchers on a full-time basis are the BBC and independent broadcasting companies. Satellite and cable television companies usually employ Broadcasting Researchers for a programme or a series, often on short, fixed-term contracts.

Self-employment

Opportunities occur for Broadcasting Researchers to work as self-employed freelancers.

Where are vacancies advertised?

Vacancies are advertised:

Entry Routes and Training

Entry routes

Entry is competitive and is usually only possible after relevant experience.

A great way to get into this career is through an internship. Take a look at our information article 'Internships', for more details.

Some people get research jobs through personal contacts. Others are promoted internally within large organisations. Detailed knowledge and experience of a specialist field may be a way into working on specialist TV shows.

An Advanced Level Apprenticeship is also great place to start. Take a look at our information article 'Apprenticeships – How do I apply', for more details about applying for apprenticeship positions.

Work Experience

Some entrants have a relevant background in, for example, editing or researching environment. Previous experience within an broadcasting or researching environment can help you get into this career but it is not essential.

Training

If you would like more training, there are courses offered at the BECTU, which is the media and entertainment union.

The course that is offered at BECTU is in TV research. It is used by trainee TV/Digital Researchers or current Researchers wishing to obtain more skills.

By the end of the course, you will be able to:

  • spot a real story and be able to tell apart from a fake news story
  • use TV research techniques
  • find valid sources of information
  • develop interviewing skills
  • write proposals and briefs
  • know all of the editorial policies and broadcast laws
  • learn proofreading techniques such as double checking information

Other courses could be available in your area.

Progression

With experience, it is possible to progress to a senior position or another programme-making role in broadcasting, such as producing or directing.

Qualifications

It is becoming more common for entrants to have a degree as well as relevant work experience.

For entry to a degree in any subject, the usual requirement is:

  • 2 A levels
  • GCSEs (A*- C or 9 - 4) in 3 other subjects

To get onto an Advanced Level Apprenticeship, you'll usually need 5 GCSEs at grade C/4 or above, including English and maths, or to have completed an Intermediate Level Apprenticeship.

Other qualifications, such as a BTEC level 3 qualification or the International Baccalaureate Diploma could also be considered. Entry requirements for degree courses vary; check prospectuses and college/universty websites carefully.

It may be possible to enter as a Production Assistant with fewer qualifications and work your way up.

Some universities accept the Welsh Baccalaureate as equivalent to 1 A level.

Adult Opportunities

Age limits

It is illegal for any organisation to set age limits for entry to employment, education or training, unless they can show there is a real need to have these limits.

Experience

Relevant skills and abilities gained working as a broadcasting production assistant can be valuable.

Courses

If you don't have the qualifications needed to enter your chosen degree or HND course, a college or university Access course (eg, Access to Media) could be the way in. No formal qualifications are usually required, but you should check individual course details.

Further Information

Apprenticeships: Get In. Go Far

National Apprenticeship Service (NAS)

Tel: 0800 015 0400

Email: nationalhelpdesk@findapprenticeship.service.gov.uk

Website: www.apprenticeships.org.uk

ScreenSkills

Skills for the creative industries

Email: info@creativeskillset.org

Website: www.creativeskillset.org

Creative & Cultural Skills

Skills for craft, cultural heritage, design, literature, music, performing arts and visual arts

Email: london@ccskills.org.uk

Website: ccskills.org.uk

BBC Careers

Website: www.bbc.co.uk/careers/home

Wireless Group

Irish enquiries

Email: info@u.tv

Website: www.utvmedia.com

ITV Jobs

Website: www.itvjobs.com

Northern Ireland Screen

Northern Ireland Enquiries

Email: info@northernirelandscreen.co.uk

Website: www.northernirelandscreen.co.uk

StartinTV

Website: www.startintv.com

Careers Wales - Welsh Apprenticeships

Tel: 0800 028 4844

Website: ams.careerswales.com/

Wales Screen

Website: www.screenwales.com

S4C (Welsh Enquiries)

Address: Parc Ty Glas, Llanishen, Cardiff, UK, CF14 5DU

Tel: 029 2046 5533

Website: www.s4c.co.uk

BECTU

Email: info@bectu.org.uk

Website: www.bectu.org.uk/home

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