If you’re a budding journalist, you will quickly learn that there are a lot of tools you are going to need in order to get the best stories. Of all of these tools, a press pass is one of the most important. It gives you access to important events where breaking news or interesting events with highly influential figures are occurring so that you can cover a story.
If you are a journalist that is trying to establish yourself, you are going to want to gain access to newsworthy events. Whether it’s backstage at a concert gaining access to a location where breaking news event is occurring, you’re going to need to get a press pass.
Press passes give special privileges to journalists. Some offer a recognized legal status, and others simply indicate that you are journalist. The type of benefits a press pass offers is determined by the agency that issues it. There are three different agencies that issue press passes: law enforcement agencies, news organizations and event organizers. Each type of press pass offers different authorizations, so sometimes it is necessary for a journalist to have multiple press passes as the same time.
If you are just breaking into journalism, you will quickly learn that press passes are highly coveted, but they can seem very elusive. You might be under the impression that only the most established and highly recognized journalists are able to acquire press passes, but that’s simply not the case. If you are wondering how to go about scoring your first press pass, keep on reading to find out how you can successfully get one.
First things first: what is a press pass? It goes by various names, including a photo pass, a media pass, a press credential and a photo badge. No matter what it’s called, a press pass is a badge that gives you special permission to access an event and interview those who are in attendance. The type of press pass you will need depends on the type of event you are trying to gain access to. It’s important to keep in mind that the permissions that media passes offer vary from event to event, so it’s important to ask what you can and can’t do with your pass.
Now that you know what a media pass is, let’s talk about how you go about getting one. Traditionally, media passes are only offered to those who are associated with the media, such as journalists that work for the newspapers or magazines, or the person that is in charge of the event. Media passes are very rarely issued to those who are seeking to use stories for their own personal use or to develop a portfolio. If you are trying to acquire a press pass, you are going to have to be on assignment for a publication. Because of the every growing prevalence of magazines, newspapers, blogs and other types of media outlets that are competing to provide event coverage for their audiences, getting a press pass might be easier than you think.
Here are some tips that will help you acquire your own media pass.
As soon as you hear about the event, you should start taking the steps that are necessary to attain a press pass. The earlier you make contact, the better your chances of receiving a press pass will be. Reaching out early will ensure that you have the right contact information. Plus, you will have more time to locate and pitch media outlets that would be interested in having you represent them and sending you out on an assignment. Also, remember that you should adhere to any media pass deadlines that might be imposed.
How You Shouldn’t Apply for a Press Pass
If you are going to apply for a media pass, you want to make sure that you are on assignment before you do. Applying for a pass without being on assignment will guarantee that you will be rejected. Don’t apply by telling that you want to photograph or document the event so that you can add it to your portfolio, or for other personal reasons.
Successfully attaining a press pass so that you can cover an event is one of your first steps to becoming a successful reporter or photographer. Once you have nailed down your first press pass, getting future ones won’t be as difficult, and eventually, it will become second nature. With a press pass, you will be able to establish yourself as a reputable journalist or photographer, which will do wonders for your career.