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Friday, March 01, 2024

What you need to know about press passes

Chances are if you are reading this, you are curious about press passes.

What exactly is a press pass? That kind of depends on who you ask. The phrase "press pass" has been around for quite some time, and over time the definition and description of what exactly a press pass is has changed along with news, news makers, media, reporters, correspondents and even the medium in which we share and view our information.

Often when someone hears the term "press pass" it conjures up images of a reporter wearing a cap with a tiny card which reads press or perhaps someone wearing a lanyard with some type of identification on it. While these mental images may be accurate, they still don't explain what a press pass is.

There are sites out there blurring the lines between a press pass or media pass and press credentials. A press pass, at least in modern terms is really something a member of the press or media receives for something specific (a movie debut, concert, political event) etc. A website or any organization for that matter can NOT simply claim to offer you a pass to get into any of the aforementioned events. That is simply false. Regardless of what card you may have from a website or organization, you still would typically have to apply or request a press/media pass to cover or enter a venue or event. If you are part of a major news network you may simply be able to show up and enter a facility to cover a story for your network, but that is NOT at all how things work for most people.

While fake websites are out there trying to get people to buy into the idea of some kind of magic golden ticket or card they call a "press pass" there are still organizations out there that offer staff or members press credentials. In fact it is having press credentials that can help you acquire specific press/media passes. 

When requesting a press/media pass for something specific, the coordinator, venue, manager etc, will often ask you for your credentials. Typically if you do not have credentials you will have a more difficult time acquiring a press pass if at all. If on the other hand you are a member of a news outlet, organization, trade association and have your credentials, you will be offered consideration for a press pass. When an event or venue sets out to issue press passes they typically have a limited number they will issue often for (writers/reporters, photographers, videographers).


     The US Press Association - International Press Pass & Credentials - The Standard For New Media Freelancers And Professionals