Career Development

What Does a Media Researcher Do?

Find out what a media researcher does, how to get this job, and what it takes to succeed as a media researcher.

Media researchers are responsible for finding and organizing media content. They commonly work with video, audio, images, and other digital media files to help producers find the best materials for their projects.

Media researchers may also be tasked with maintaining databases of all the media they’ve found. This includes keeping track of which clips were used in which projects so that producers can easily reuse them in future projects.

Media Researcher Job Duties

Media researchers have a wide range of responsibilities, which can include:

  • Interviewing clients to determine their needs and interests
  • Conducting market research to identify potential audiences for a product or service
  • Collecting and organizing relevant data from various sources such as magazines, newspapers, radio broadcasts, television broadcasts, blogs, and other online sources
  • Cataloguing digital files to ensure that they are stored in a secure location
  • Drafting reports summarizing the findings of research studies for clients
  • Gathering information about individuals or groups involved with current events or popular topics in the news
  • Reviewing transcripts of audio or video recordings to create a transcript that is easier to read
  • Identifying trends in public opinion on topics of interest to consumers of media content
  • Preparing briefs summarizing the research findings and providing recommendations to clients

Media Researcher Salary & Outlook

Media researchers’ salaries vary depending on their level of education, years of experience, and the company they work for. They may also earn additional compensation in the form of bonuses.

  • Median Annual Salary: $66,500 ($31.97/hour)
  • Top 10% Annual Salary: $122,000 ($58.65/hour)

The employment of media researchers is expected to grow much faster than average over the next decade.

As technology continues to change rapidly, media researchers will be needed to evaluate and test new types of media, such as virtual reality and augmented reality. In addition, demand for social media research will continue to increase as more people use social media platforms.

Media Researcher Job Requirements

A media researcher typically needs to have the following qualifications:

Education: Media researchers typically need a bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, English or another related field. Some employers prefer candidates who have a master’s degree in journalism or media studies. Relevant coursework includes research, writing, ethics, media law and ethics, and media history.

Training & Experience: Media researchers typically receive on-the-job training to learn the specific processes and procedures of their organization. Training may include learning the organization’s computer systems, databases and media sources.

Media researchers can also receive training through internships. Internships allow students to gain practical experience in the media research field. They can also help students to make valuable professional connections that can help them find employment after graduation.

Certifications & Licenses: Media researchers may obtain certifications to show their expertise in media research and the information resources used in this field.

Media Researcher Skills

Media researchers need the following skills in order to be successful:

Research: Research skills are the foundation of a media researcher’s ability to find information. They use research skills to find information about a person, company or event. They use research skills to find information about a topic that’s trending and information about a topic that’s not trending. They use research skills to find information about a topic that’s in the public domain and information that’s not in the public domain.

Communication: Media researchers often work with other individuals in a team or group setting. They must be able to communicate effectively with others to share information and ideas. They also must be able to listen to others and understand their needs. This is important because media researchers often work with people who aren’t familiar with the media industry.

Critical thinking: Critical thinking is the ability to analyze information and make decisions based on the information you have. Media researchers use critical thinking to determine what information is relevant to their research and what information they need to find. For example, if a person is looking for information about a celebrity, a media researcher may find information about the celebrity’s family, friends and colleagues.

Organization: Organization is another skill that can help media researchers perform their duties well. This is because they often have to keep track of large amounts of information, including information about different sources, contact information and other details. Being able to organize information can help them find the information they need quickly and efficiently.

Technology: Media researchers use technology to find information online, in databases and on social media. They may also use technology to organize and store information they find. Some media researchers specialize in a particular type of technology, such as social media, and may need to learn how to use that technology to find information.

Media Researcher Work Environment

Media researchers work in a variety of settings, including media organizations, advertising agencies, public relations firms, market research firms, and government agencies. They may work in an office setting, although they may also travel to attend conferences or to conduct field research. Media researchers typically work a standard 40-hour week, although they may work longer hours to meet deadlines or to complete research projects. Media researchers need to be able to work independently and be self-motivated, as they often work on projects with little supervision. They also need to be able to work well under pressure and be able to handle multiple tasks simultaneously.

Media Researcher Trends

Here are three trends influencing how media researchers work. Media researchers will need to stay up-to-date on these developments to keep their skills relevant and maintain a competitive advantage in the workplace.

The Growth of Digital Media

The growth of digital media has led to an increased demand for media researchers. As more and more people consume media online, businesses need professionals who can help them understand what their customers are looking for.

Media researchers can use their skills to help companies create content that is both engaging and effective. They can also help to track customer data and provide insights into consumer behavior.

Data-Driven Decision Making

As data becomes increasingly important in business, decision makers are turning to data-driven methods to make decisions. This trend is leading to a greater demand for media researchers who can gather and analyze data to help inform business decisions.

Media researchers can capitalize on this trend by developing expertise in data-driven methods and becoming familiar with the tools used to collect and analyze data. In addition, they should be prepared to work with teams that are focused on data-driven decision making.

More Focus on Audience Insights

As media consumption continues to shift towards digital platforms, media researchers are increasingly being called upon to focus on audience insights.

This trend is resulting in a greater demand for media researchers who have experience working with digital data. By understanding how to use data to better understand audiences, media researchers can help their organizations create content that is more likely to resonate with readers.

How to Become a Media Researcher

A media researcher career can be a great way to get started in the field of journalism. As a media researcher, you’ll be responsible for finding and collecting information on a wide range of topics. This could include anything from local news stories to national politics.

To become a successful media researcher, it’s important to have strong research skills and an eye for detail. You should also be able to work independently and meet deadlines.

Advancement Prospects

Advancement prospects for media researchers are good. Researchers with a few years of experience can move into supervisory positions, managing a team of researchers. They may also move into related fields, such as market research or public opinion polling. With further experience, they may become consultants, working independently or for a consulting firm.

Media Researcher Job Description Example

As a media researcher at [CompanyX], you will be responsible for planning, conducting, and analyzing research projects related to the media industry. This will include primary and secondary research, as well as data analysis. You will be expected to develop research proposals, design research instruments, and manage research projects from start to finish. The ideal candidate will have experience with a variety of research methods, as well as strong analytical and writing skills. He or she must be able to work independently and be comfortable with ambiguity and change.

Duties & Responsibilities

  • Understand and execute on research objectives as defined by the media team, including but not limited to target audience analysis, brand awareness studies, and ad effectiveness tracking
  • Develop a deep understanding of the client’s business, products, and services, as well as their competition
  • Stay up-to-date on industry trends and news, as well as emerging technologies that could impact the media landscape
  • Design and oversee execution of both qualitative and quantitative research projects from start to finish, ensuring methodological rigor
  • Manage outside research vendors, when necessary, to supplement in-house capabilities
  • Analyze data and craft insights that tell a story, identify key takeaways, and make recommendations
  • Present findings to internal teams and clients in a clear, concise, and visually appealing manner
  • Serve as a thought partner to the media team, offering strategic guidance on how best to allocate resources based on findings
  • Proactively identify opportunities for further study, either to deepen understanding of existing topics or explore new areas of interest
  • Maintain an organized and easily accessible database of all research projects, findings, and recommendations
  • Train and mentor junior researchers on research methods and best practices
  • Keep abreast of changes in the media landscape and adapt research approaches accordingly

Required Skills and Qualifications

  • Bachelor’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field
  • 3-5 years professional research experience in the media industry
  • Excellent writing and communication skills
  • Superior organizational skills and attention to detail
  • Ability to work independently and with a team to meet deadlines
  • Proficiency in Microsoft Office and Google Suite

Preferred Skills and Qualifications

  • Master’s degree in journalism, communications, or related field
  • Experience with media monitoring software, such as Cision or Meltwater
  • Familiarity with social media listening tools, such as Hootsuite Insights or NetBase
  • Working knowledge of HTML and CSS
  • Basic photo editing skills


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