Saturday, 25th November 2017
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RESEARCHER (TV)

Researchers hold a very exciting entry level role within the production company. They work across all genres of TV production, including news, sport, documentary, entertainment and serial programming. Whilst a researcher is a junior position, it is at the centre of the production process and holds many responsibilities and possible opportunities.

The main premise of a researcher is of course, research; researching the content behind specific projects or coming up with fresh material for the producers makes up the bulk of a researcher’s daily work. The other roles of a researcher can vary depending on the genre that they are assigned to.

Researchers will be briefed by a producer and other heads of department before researching all data, archive footage, locations, and people that are to be used in the production. They will then present the findings during production meetings. Sometimes researchers will have to come up with their own original ideas for television programmes, always staying aware of the industry requirements and the target market.

A researcher will work on a production through almost all of the stages, contributing enormously to the development of a programme. Compiling the research at the start is the biggest part of the process, but other duties can include:

  • Checking through scripts
  • Fact-checking news or factual programming
  • Researching the legal requirements of a production and necessary consent forms
  • Researching and visiting locations to view suitability
  • Deciding on appropriate interviewees or cast members
  • Writing on-screen ‘briefs’ for the presenters on a live broadcast

With so many different tasks and areas of work, researchers must be versatile and able to multi-task. They have a lot of responsibility and must maintain the authenticity of a broadcaster by getting facts straight. Building up a good rapport with the whole production team is also a priority, so that there are more opportunities for new projects and new responsibilities.