What exactly is a press pass? What is the US Press Association Press Pass? What are US Press Association Credentials?

The term “press pass” can mean several different things. Primarily it depends on who you ask, and even where you are? Media organizations including the US Press Association “The USPA”, issue their members or in some cases employees press credentials which are often referred to as a press pass.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

A press pass (alternatively referred to as a press card or a journalist pass) grants some type of special privilege to journalists. Some cards have recognized legal status; others merely indicate that the bearer is a practicing journalist. The nature of the benefits is determined by the type of issuing agency, of which there are three major categories: news organizations, law-enforcement agencies, and event organizers (usually for a specific single affair like a corporate press conference). Each type of card grants different authorizations, thus it is often necessary or desirable for reporters to hold multiple press passes simultaneousl

It is important to realize that depending on your role in journalism or media, the term press pass can certainly range in meaning. Simply having an ID that was issued to you by a media outlet does not give you carte blanche or the ability to go anywhere or enter any facility of your choosing. It’s unfortunate but there are some websites out there that blur the lines to make it seem that some card they are offering to sell you will somehow allow you to access various places or simply enter all venues. There are even some websites and videos out there with "how to make your own press pass" posts. If your "press pass" isn't backed by a media outlet or some type of organization, the "press pass" you are making is worth about as much as the paper you printed it on. Truth is, if you are wanting to attend an event or access a venue you would need what is also referred to as a “press pass” or media pass. This however is issued by other sources (management, publicists, PR personnel, venue security) to name a few. In order to receive this press pass, it often needs to be requested ahead of time and there is typically a deadline for making such requests. In the instance of a photographer either being assigned a job photographing a concert or acting as a freelancer the expectation of showing up to take pictures the day of a concert and expecting to have access to either the pit or backstage is just ridiculous. Sure you can go under general admission, but you will probably be limited to a fixed lense (non DSLR) camera. The odds of finding yourself with either pit or backstage access are extremely slim. Photographers wanting and requesting this type of access do so well in advance as their access needs to be facilitated by perhaps multiple individuals possibly including artists management.This is a key difference you will find between the US Press Association and the less than forthcoming websites out there that are trying to take advantage of enthusiastic newcomers to the field of journalism and media. Rather than claiming to offer some type of card that gives it’s holder the ability to go wherever they want, our approach is to actually help our members through the process. While some members already have prior experience and use their membership, USPA press pass and credentials to secure specific press/media passes on their own, if a member is either just starting out in the field or simply doesn’t have the time or the information on who to contact to make the request, the US Press Association is here to help navigate through some of the complexities that may arise. The USPA Press Pass and credentials are internationally recognized and we have helped our members with a wide range of industry specific issues for the past two decades. 

Become part of the US Press Association “The USPA” today, and see how we can help you. 

Choose your membership, receive your USPA press pass and authentic USPA credentials.

Trust the original, The USPA - The US Press Association