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Programme researchers are employed by radio and television broadcasters to provide assistance to news desks and production teams. It is primarily a research role, as the name would suggest, although programme researchers may be asked to help out in a number of areas, including administration and production.
They will meet with producers and directors to contribute and discuss ideas for content and will then research, plan and develop necessary material once a concept has been approved.
Facts, figures and any other information which is to feature during programming will have to be verified by a researcher, who will use the Internet and archives as their primary sources of research. They will also conduct research into audiences and produce reports to show their findings.
Some of the work may be editorial. Researchers will sometimes have to write and edit scripts, reports and briefs before they are given to presenters. Depending on the size of the broadcaster, researchers may even conduct interviews themselves.
They obtain copyright and broadcasting rights of music, film or any other property used throughout the programme.
When appropriate freelancers, guests or interviewees have been identified, the programme researcher may be responsible for making contact and arranging jobs and interviews and negotiating contracts and production deadlines. They may also be responsible for booking and keeping track of hardware such as cameras and recording equipment.