Aug. 1, 2017, 2:36 p.m.


By Nsim Team


From generating programme ideas to ensuring everyone is catered for on set - you'll need creativity, industry knowledge and an eye for detail in this varied job. A programme researcher provides support to the producer and production team.

If you want to become a programme researcher, you first need to determine if this career path is a good fit for you. as a researcher you might:

• contribute ideas for programmes;

• source contacts and contributors;

• collect, verify and prepare information for film, television and radio productions.

The work involves organising, planning and researching everything that will happen during the programme such as who'll be interviewed, the location, if the film crew will fit, if the budget will stretch and so on.

The researcher has a responsibility for fact checking, writing briefs for presenters, and ensuring that the production adheres to appropriate legislation.You can work on a variety of programmes or within one subject area.The job is often seen as an apprenticeship for a producer role and a chance for ambitious recruits to show their potential.



Researchers may be briefed by producers or other decision makers about program ideas and carry out further development. Alternatively, they may produce original program ideas for consideration by producers, broadcasters, production companies, or other decision makers. They identify relevant data, contributors, locations or archive material etc. collate and assess information from various sources, and ensure that legal, compliance and copyright requirements are met.

Researchers may contribute to the development of scripts or other written content by writing drafts, or briefing others who write so that they can deliver what is required. They may be asked to check final written materials for accuracy and suggest amendments in a helpful and constructive manner.

Before production commences, Researchers must identify, negotiate fees for, and conclude copyright clearances and legal issues relating to all brought in materials used on shoots, including archive materials, intellectual property or music. They must ensure that all relevant broadcast territories are covered. They monitor usage throughout the production process. Production assistants (PAs) also log usage and timings after transmission.

During production, Researchers arrange transport for contributors to and from locations or studios. They greet contributors and brief them before recording commences, support them as necessary, and escort them from the studio or location once shooting is completed.

Researchers may also be required to prepare production materials for external use, including fact sheets, pamphlets, books and booklets to accompany productions, and publicity material such as production billings, press releases, related websites, and text pages.



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


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



To do this role, you will need to:

• be able to establish a rapport quickly with production personnel and potential contributors

• maintain up-to-date contact lists and be able to access relevant information from various sources

• source and suggest suitable contributors, demonstrating how their input fits into each production

• be able to explain tactfully and diplomatically if contributors are not suitable

• be aware of the legal and ethical considerations surrounding the release of information to the press and public, especially when sensitive or contentious issues are involved

• be responsible for handling floats and petty cash, e.g. for taxis for contributors during production

• be able to keep accurate records of all income and expenditure

• have excellent verbal and written communication skills

• have excellent presentation skills

• possess advanced analytical skills

• pay precise attention to detail and have a methodical approach to work

• be able to conceptualise ideas and think visually

• show initiative and possess strong problem-solving skills

• have advanced IT skills

• show diplomacy and sensitivity when working with writers, producers, actors, presenters, other contributors and crew members

• have current knowledge of the relevant legislation, regulations, and associated procedures, including copyright, data protection, public liability, etc. and how to comply with regulatory requirements

• have knowledge of the requirements of the relevant health and safety legislation and procedures



Typical employers include:

  • Nsim TV

  • YouTube Channels

  • Television

  • Independent production companies

  • Radio

  • Satellite and cable companies

There are numerous satellite, cable and digital broadcasters and streaming services, including:

  • Amazon

  • BT TV

  • Netflix

  • Sky

  • TalkTalk TV

  • Virgin Media


Here’s a chance for one and all to be independent and work ahead to lead your institution’s bright future

Nsim is expanding its network to give affiliations for the institutes those are willing to provide classes/training for programme researchers in different part of the country. Interested institutes and the aspirants for the course can register in the provided link.



We hopefully invites institutions that are well known for their services in programme research  sectors to act as an umbrella to mobilize candidates of your locality. Those institutions who are interested in forming  affilation with Nsim are whole heartedly WELCOME !!!


Related Links: VOICE ACTOR



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