The majority of researchers work for television, independent production companies, radio, or satellite and cable companies, on news and current affairs programmes.
The UK's largest broadcaster is the BBC . The majority of its programmes are produced in-house but it has a statutory obligation to ensure that 25% of its commissioned programme hours are made by independent producers.
ITV produces 35% of its programmes outside London and comprises 15 regional licensees and ITV Breakfast. The major players are Carlton and Granada. ITV is also required to commission 25% of its programming from the independent sector.
Channel 4 broadcasts throughout the UK and does not make programmes but commissions them from independent production companies.
Channel 5 broadcasts across the UK and makes a small number of programmes.
S4/C is a 100% Welsh-language channel which commissions all of its programmes. BBC Cymru produces and broadcasts programmes in both English and Welsh, while BBC Alba in Scotland broadcasts Gaelic programmes and is also responsible for the Gaelic Digital Service channel.
Independent production companies include HIT Entertainment, Tiger Aspect and Endemol UK, plus hundreds of smaller independent companies, based mainly in London, which mostly recruit freelancers.
Commercial radio companies include Global Radio (the Heart and Capital FM networs, Classic FM, Xfm and more), UTV Radio (talkSPORT and various local FM stations such as Peak FM and Swansea Sound), Absolute Radio and Bauer Radio (Magic Radio and Kiss networks, Kerrang! and several stations in the North of England, Northern Ireland and Scotland).
There are numerous satellite, cable and digital broadcasters, including Sky, Virgin Media, TalkTalk TV and BT Vision, and researchers are also employed by a small number of production companies in the film industry.
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