Press pass


Press pass

A press pass (alternately referred to as a "journalist pass" or a "press card") 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 simultaneously.cite web
last = Gulker
first = Christian H.
title = untitled
work =
publisher = Gulker.com
date =
url = http://www.gulker.com/photos/2003/press_passes.png format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
]

Law-enforcement cards

Police departments at a city, county, or state/provincial level may issue press passes. Such passes allow the bearer to cross police or fire lines to report breaking news, or grant access to crime scenes or other restricted areascite web
title = Applying for A SFPD Press Pass
work = SFPD Public Affairs Office
publisher = City and County of San Francisco Police Department
date =
url = http://www.sfgov.org/site/police_index.asp?id=38072
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-04-01
] -– though admission may be denied if it would interfere with the duties of emergency personnel.

Because of the exceptional dispensation endowed by police press passes, they are issued with discretion –- some jurisdictions require an in-person interview with all prospective applicants.cite web
last = Dobkin
first = Jake
title = Help Gothamist Get a Press Pass
work = SFPD Public Affairs Office
publisher = City and County of San Francisco Police Department
date = April 27, 2005
url = http://www.gothamist.com/2005/04/27/from_the_publisher_help_gothamist_get_a_press_pass.php
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-04-02
] Generally, only reporters who cover breaking news are eligible; other journalists (feature writers, photographers, editors and editorialists, freelance writers, and bloggers) are not.

Police-issued passes do not grant access to government press conferences or any other such privileges: they are only recognized by emergency response personnel, and only valid within the jurisdiction of the issuing agencies.

Parking permits

Police parking permits, issued in some jurisdictions, exempt news vehicles from certain parking restrictions while on the job. They may be offered to any news-gathering organization that covers breaking news for use in company vehicles employed by full-time reporters, photographers, and camera operators. Often, these permits are only granted to journalists who already carry a police press card.

When conspicuously displayed, these permits may allow the bearer to park in restricted ‘resident-only’ parking zones, and may exempt him or her from parking-meter costs. These privileges apply only for the duration of breaking-news coverage, and do not nullify all parking restrictions: red zones, fire hydrants, crosswalks, bus zones, disabled parking zones or access ramps, commercial loading zones, taxi cab zones, 'no stopping' or 'no parking' zones, transit lanes, and other towaway zones are still off-limits.

Event-specific

For tradeshows, community gatherings, sporting events, award shows, professional conferences, or major events of any type, press passes are generally available. These are sometimes referred to as ‘press badges’.cite web
last = Winer
first = Dave
title = How I got my press badge for CES
work =
publisher = flickr
date = January 7, 2007
url = http://www.flickr.com/photos/scriptingnews/349489873/in/set-72157594465762783/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-04-02
] For event organizers, media involvement is not only desirable – it is often requisite of the event’s success. What privileges press badges offer, and who is eligible to receive them, depends on the nature of the affair.

Generally, prospective recipients must apply in advance, offering evidence of their credentials. Event sponsors may request past published material, or a letter from the news agency (using the company letterhead) detailing the job assignment.cite web
last =
first =
title = Press/Analyst FAQs
work = 2007 International CES
publisher = International CES
date = 2007
url = http://www.cesweb.org/faqs/press.asp
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] [cite web
last =
first =
title = Media Invitation -- Complimentary Press Pass
work = ISMB/ECCB 2007
publisher = International Society for Computational Biology
date = 2007
url = http://www.iscb.org/ismb/presspass.php
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] Generally, non-reporting employees of news agencies (executives, sales personnel, publishers, editors, et cetera) are not eligible for press passes. [cite web
last =
first =
title = Press Registration Form
work =
publisher = SupplySideWest
date = 2006
url = http://www.supplysideshow.com/west/6a1presspass.pdf
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] In addition to traditional journalists, prominent (and sometimes not-so-prominent) bloggers may be granted event passes. [cite web
last = Vargas
first = Jose Antonio
title = What Press Pass? At E3, a Convergence of Card-Carrying Bloggers
newspaper = The Washington Post
pages = D01
date = May 14, 2006
url = http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/05/13/AR2006051301289.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-04-02
]

Many major events, especially tradeshows, will issue a press kit to pass-bearers. [cite web
last = Olbermann
first = Keith
title = Press pass bypass
work = Bloggermann
publisher = MSNBC
date = February 17, 2005
url = http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6844293/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-04-02
] A press pass may allow the bearer to request interviews with noteworthy attendants, and special rooms are sometimes set aside for this purpose.cite web
last =
first =
title = Frequently Asked Questions
work = United States Senate Daily Press Gallery
publisher = United States Senate
date =
url = http://www.senate.gov/galleries/daily/FAQ2.HTM United States Senate Daily Press Gallery: Frequently Asked Questions
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
]

Open events

For activities open to the public, like community gatherings, school events, or tradeshows, a press pass may offer nothing more than free or reduced admission [cite web
last =
first =
title = Press Pass
work =
publisher = iHollywoodForum
date =
url = http://www.ihollywoodforum.com/Press-passpage.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] [cite web
last =
first =
title = Media Invitation
work = ISMD 2006
publisher = International Society for Computational Biology
date =
url = http://www.iscb.org/ismb06/presspass.php
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] or guaranteed entry – though the benefits may be far more extensive, granting access to front-row seats or to press-only rooms. For sporting events, a press pass issued by a stadium grants access to the press box.cite web
last = Olbermann
first = Kieth
title = Bloggermann
work =
publisher = MSNBC
date = February 20, 2005
url = http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/6844293/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] Because open events are usually funded by paying attendees, the number of press passes may depend on the number of tickets sold. [cite web
last =
first =
title = Press Pass Request
work = Demo Fall '07
publisher = Demo
date =
url = http://demo.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=100
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
]

Closed events

For events closed to the general public, a press pass will grant access. Greater exclusivity, however, means more restrictions on potential pass recipients. For professionally conferences or tradeshows, passes may be granted only to journalists with a title of ‘industry analyst,’ [cite web
last =
first =
title = Press Registration
work =
publisher = Cambridge Health Institution
date =
url = http://www.healthtech.com/press.ASP
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] or with an editorial or reporting designation. [cite web
last =
first =
title = Press Pass Request Form
work =
publisher = Bike Information Association
date =
url = https://www.diahome.org/DIAHome/AboutDIA/Resources/Docs/DIAPressPassFinal.pdf
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
]

News agency cards

"You do not need to ask permission from anyone to be a journalist," explains the Periodical Publishers Association; "however, it is sometimes useful to be able to identify yourself as a Journalist when needed."cite web
last =
first =
title = PPA Press Cards
work =
publisher = Periodical Publishers Association
date =
url = http://www.ppa.co.uk/cgi-bin/wms.pl/488
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] To this end, journalistic agencies issue press cards to their reporters, editorialists, writers, and photographers. These do not have the legal merits of government-issued cards, and they will not replace event-specific passes; the card only serves as proof of its bearer’s status as a legitimate newsperson. As such, card-carriers may be better able to obtain interviews, acquire information from law-enforcement, or gain access to exclusive venues.cite web
last = Herman
first = Douglas
title = Crashing the Oscars - How to Make a Fake Press Pass
work = rense.com
publisher = ISMB/ECCB 2007
date = March 21, 2006
url = http://www.rense.com/general70/crashingtheoscars.htm
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-04-02
]

For freelance journalists in the United States, organizations like the National Writer’s Union and the PPA issue press passes to approved applicants – for a fee. [ [http://www.nwu.org/nwu/?cmd=showPage&page_id=1.3.19 National Writer’s Union: Membership Benefits -- Press Pass] ]

Fake cards

Various organizations offer, for a fee, disingenuous press passes; some websites detail instructions on producing fake cards.Joan Stewart of the Public Relations Society of America reports, “Fake press passes abound at restaurant and theater openings, sporting events, music festivals, political rallies, celebrity parties and even crime scenes. With a decent computer and color printer, almost anybody can crank out an official-looking pass within minutes.” [cite news
last = Stewart
first = Joan
title = Guard the shrimp bowl!: How to spot fake press passes
work = PR Tactics
language =
publisher = Public Relations Society of America
date = April 26, 2006
url = http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9C03E2DD1E3DF934A35750C0A9639C8B63
accessdate = 2007-04-01
]

In response to a perceived increase in such activities, legitimate card-issuers have taken measures to prevent counterfieting, creating cards with holographic foil blocking, signature strips, and tamper-resistant lamination. [cite web
last =
first =
title = Press Cards
work =
publisher = The Chartered Institute of Journalists
date = 2006
url = http://www.cioj.co.uk/press_cards.html
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
] In the United Kingdom, the UK Press Card Authority (a voluntary consortium of news agencies) issues a nationally-standardized card to United Kingdom-based news gatherers. [cite web
last =
first =
title = untitled
work =
publisher = The UK Press Card Authority
date =
url = http://www.presscard.uk.com/
format =
doi =
accessdate = 2007-05-07
]

Notes

External links

* [http://www.afi.com/onscreen/afifest/2006/faq.aspx AFI Fest: Festival Information, "Press FAQ"]

References


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