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Media researcher

Media researchers support producers by finding information, people and places for television or radio programmes. 

Salary, a pound sign Salary: £16,000 to £40,000 average per year
Hours, a clock face Hours: Variable per week

1. Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirements, but the right skills, contacts and work experience are highly valued. 

You could get contacts and experience by working:

  • on radio productions, or student film or TV productions
  • in local newspapers, student publications, hospital or community radio, film archives or picture libraries

You don’t need a degree to work in most areas but it can help.  You may need a degree, postgraduate qualification or background in a relevant subject to work on factual or specialist programmes.

You could also:

  • start as an administrator, runner or production assistant in TV and work your way up
  • move into programme research from a background in journalism or research in a non-media field, like social or political research
  • take a course in media production

BBC, Media Nation and Creative Skillset have more information on courses and work placements.

2. Skills required

You’ll need:

  • good organisational and administrative skills
  • a high degree of accuracy and attention to detail
  • creativity and initiative
  • multi-tasking ability and a flexible approach to work
  • the ability to work under pressure and meet strict deadlines

3. What you'll do

Your day-to-day duties might include: 

  • discussing programme ideas and researching needs with producers
  • finding and checking information
  • searching media libraries and archives
  • writing briefs for presenters, or briefing scriptwriters
    checking copyright
  • finding studio audiences and programme contributors
    looking for locations
  • researching and writing content for websites and social media

You may also cast people by calling or visiting people and recording them.

4. Salary

Starter: £16,000 to £25,000

Experienced: £35,000

Highly Experienced: £40,000

You could work freelance, and be paid a fee for each contract.

The Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union (BECTU) has information on current pay guidelines.

These figures are a guide.

5. Working hours, patterns and environment

Working hours can be long and irregular, and may include evenings and weekends.

You’ll mainly work in offices and studios, using the telephone and the internet. 

You may also make research trips, which could involve travel in the UK or overseas.

6. Career path and progression

With experience, you could supervise a research team on larger productions.

You could also move into an assistant producer role, or writing or directing.

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Last updated: 21 December 2016